We published this last year, but wanted to remind those of you in the PDX area of this awesome resource!
You all know how much I love getting secondhand clothing for my entire family but I’ve honestly been frustrated at the high prices of secondhand women’s clothing in the Portland area at thrift and traditional consignment stores. That is until I found Showp in SE Portland!
Shwop is a unique way to frugally fill your closet with clothes, shoes, accessories that you love and get rid of the items you don’t. Shwop is a membership-based clothes (and more) swapping boutique, or as Shwop says, it’s “a resale, thrift, consignment store and swap party all rolled into one.” Members pay a monthly or discounted yearly fee that allows you to swap clothing, shoes, accessories, and more. Swapping is one-for-one — if you bring in five items, you can leave with five items. You can also wait to use your swapping credit for another trip, so no pressure to take something out that you don’t love or won’t use.
Laurie, our New Seasons contributor and I toured Shwop last month and were totally blown away by the awesomeness. Marci, Shwop’s owner, explained how the entire system works, showed us her store (front and back), and shared her passion to help families save money and lessen our impact on the environment by making quality secondhand clothing more accessible.
What I love about Shwop
Impressive selection of women’s clothing
I was really surprised at how many racks of women’s clothing were on the floor. The store is set up as, well, a real secondhand store. There are racks of clothing organized by item and size. You’ll find women’s clothing in extra-small all the way up to plus sizes — tops, pants, jeans, skirts, dresses, shoes, handbags, other accessories, and even intimates (undies are new, bras, socks, hosiery can be used). There was a nice selection of fancy dresses, which is perfect for a one-time event. You could use Shwop basically as a rental service — grab a dress or a wrap for an upcoming party then swap it later for something else!
This is especially perfect for those of us with fluctuating sizes. I’ve spent the last ten years going from a size 4 to a size 16 back down to a size… well, not 4. It sure would have been nice to just swap out clothes that no longer fit for some that do, then do it all over again in a couple of months. I can only imagine the amount of money I would have saved!
Constant new inventory
Members bring in about eight large barrels full of new items to swap every week, which means you’ll find tons of different items with every trip. The pictures above are of the back of the store — can you believe the amount of items just waiting to hit the floor for swapping!?!
Marci accepts off-season clothing and stores them. This means she’s totally ready for spring and summer, plus you can swap out your winter clothing right now. I love that you don’t have to store clothes until the correct season like you do with consignment stores.
I mentioned previously that Shwop carries plus-sized clothing. I know that many of you encounter plus-sized sections in other stores that are sparse to say the least. Marci has boxes and boxes filled with plus-sized items in the attic, just waiting for the warm weather to roll around. I am excited to see that section expand even more to serve those of you who feel like you have limited secondhand clothing options.
Great selection of kids and men’s clothing and shoes
Shwop recently opened the boutique to children and men and there is some great stuff in there! Phoebe, Laurie’s 8-year-old daughter, found around ten items she wanted to try on within five minutes. All the items were in great condition and fit her well (meaning the stuff hadn’t shrunk or been trashed by years of wear).
The men’s section was totally respectable. There were tons of dress shirts, pants, casual wear, and accessories.
Kids play area!
Don’t you just love business owners who acknowledge how difficult it can be to shop with kids? The kids area is tucked in a corner of the store far away from any doors, so your kids can play while you shop. The dressing rooms are bigger than most so your kids can sit in the room while you try on clothes. Plus, see those books in the background? You can swap those as well!
Commitment to sustainability
Not every item brought in to swap is “accepted” due to the condition, but Marci works hard to keep everything that comes into the store out of the landfill. She has an impressive web of ways to donate, upcycle, and recycle clothing not suitable for the boutique.
Flexible membership options
So this is where many of you are thinking, “Sounds great. What’s the catch?” Typically gigs like this have such a rigid membership structure that it ends up making little sense for many individuals and families. Not with Shwop. Marci has made the membership options so incredibly friendly that it will work for most of you in the Portland Metro area.
You can sign up as an individual, couple, or family. You can pay by the month or commit for a year to get a discount. You can pay for every other month (pay & swap for one month, take one month off, and pay for the third). You can join for one month a year. You can walk into the store and just purchase items off the rack (everything has a price tag for non-members). Seriously, whatever works best for your family.
Shwop is offering an limited-time discount just for Frugal Living NW readers:
One month memberships (perfect for those of you wanting to try this thing out):
$25 for an Individual Membership (swap for one person only) — regularly $35
$55 for a Family Membership (swap for your immediate family) — regularly $70
Three-month memberships (prices are discounted off the year-long membership — crazy good prices!):
$60 for an Individual Membership (swap for one person only) — regularly $75
$140 for a Family Membership (swap for your immediate family) — regularly $160
To start your membership, just bring in a bunch of items you no longer want during business hours and tell them you heard about Shwop from Frugal Living NW!
Restrictions: Individual memberships may bring in clothing or accessories in any size, but can only take out clothing in the member’s size (meaning you can’t take out clothes for your child, spouse, or sister — you’ll need a different membership for that). The 3-month discounted memberships must be three consecutive months. Payment for any of the discounted plans must be paid in full to start the membership. After the initial FLNW membership is complete, prices go back to the normal rates.
Shwop is located at 2419 SE Powell Blvd in Portland (SE 24th & Powell) and is open Tuesday – Sunday (check the website for specific hours). Be sure to sign up for the Shwop newsletter (look on the right hand side of the screen) and “like” Shwop on Facebook — Marci updates the FB page often with new items and specials!
Laurie and her family are trying out Shwop for three months and will be providing us with an ongoing review. She will post her finds and opinions every month to help all of us better understand the value of getting a Shwop membership!
This post is sponsored by Shwop. All opinions are mine.
This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.