We all have those items hanging in our wardrobes - unworn pieces that still have tags on, expensive dresses worn once for an event and never to see the light of day again, or things that are just no longer our style or size.

So in the spirit of having a good wardrobe spring clean and raising some money for a good cause whilst we were at it, we decided to hold the first ever RKH Swap Shop in aid of a local charity close to many of our hearts, LOROS. In the process we managed to raise an impressive total of £1,512, which will help LOROS continue to provide invaluable care for terminally ill patients in Leicestershire.

The Swap Shop started off as a simple idea to recycle our unwanted clothes, but quickly grew into a bit of an event. Alongside the rails upon rails of clothes, shoes, accessories and makeup, we also put on a raffle and a silent auction with a variety of amazing prizes up for grabs. Delilah Deli, Ragdale Hall Spa, Holland & Barrett, Phoenix Cinema, Argento Jewellers, Burleighs Gin Distillery, Leicester Gin & Rum Festival, Set, 200 Degrees Coffee, Exchange Bar, Kibworth Shooting Ground, Everards and Boden all kindly donated prizes for the raffle. And for our silent auction we had two wonderful experiences donated, a 7 course taster meal and wine flight for two at John's House, and a spa day for two at Champneys Springs. With so many exciting prizes to win there was definitely a lot of friendly competition and tactical ticket buying going on in the run up to the draw!

Body Shop at Home representative, Sam, was also on hand throughout the evening to give complimentary facials or hand and scalp massages and talk through her range of goodies, with 10% of all sales being donated to LOROS.

So how does a Swap Shop work?

To keep things fair, there were a few key rules to follow. First, each person who wanted to take part had to bring in at least 3 items in good, wearable condition. We then put a stamp system in place to make sure those who brought in more expensive items were rewarded fairly.

Stamps were given to each swapper based on the value of the items they brought in, and those pieces were then available to ‘buy’ for the same number of stamps. For example, a piece from Primark earned and cost 1 stamp, Topshop was 2 stamps, Reiss was 3 stamps and designer pieces were 4 stamps. You get the idea. This not only helped to encourage everyone to bring more than 3 items in, but also to bring along more good quality pieces, allowing them to earn more stamps to spend.

The whole evening was such good fun, and it was lovely to see items which had been sitting unworn in our own wardrobes being excitedly snapped up by the other girls. Everyone that got involved took home at least one new piece they really loved (though, it was more like a bag full for most of us!) and couldn’t wait to do it again. At the end of the night, all of the items that were leftover were bagged up and donated to LOROS, meaning they’ll all get another chance to be worn again or recycled.

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