Fashionistas and bargain hunters, get ready: the great York clothes swap is coming coming to the city in February.
The event is the brainchild of York musician Bonnie Milnes – and looks set to raise hundreds of pounds for local women’s charities while enabling everyone to refresh their wardrobe for next-to-no cost.
Bonnie, who leads a team of live-in carers in the city, dreamed up the idea when she first moved from York to Leeds during lockdown.
She told YorkMix: “I moved to Leeds because a few of my musician friends had made the move there from York. But after life in York, where everyone seems to know everyone else, I felt pretty lonely to begin with.
“I needed a way to make more mates. I am a big fan of vintage clothes bought from charity shops. So I set up a clothes swap in my kitchen, and called it Kind Of You.
“I invited any vague female connection I had in the new city to bring a bag of clothes and share them over a cuppa.
“As a result, we had a lot of fun. And some great close friendships developed. I have since been on holiday with these friends, and my loneliness has gone.
“The clothes swap was so successful that I continued to host them and soon needed a bigger venue.
“With the help of my fabulous new-found friends, we moved Kind Of You to Sheaf Street, a cafe and events space in the Riverside district of Leeds.
“The events are very popular now, both as a clothes bank and social event, which is what I hope we can do when we bring Kind Of You to York in February and rename it Kind Of York for the day.
“We size the donated clothes, and clothes that have been swapped, and hang them. It looks almost like a huge charity shop, but everything is free.
“We only ask for a small (optional) donation. So far, we have raised funds for Women’s Aid, SARSVL (Support After Rape & Sexual Violence Leeds) and Apna Haq, a Yorkshire support group for ethnic minority women escaping domestic violence.”
York will be the first Kind Of You clothes swap outside Leeds. It takes place in Spark:York, on Piccadilly, on Sunday, February 12 (from noon to 4pm).
Bonnie and her team, photographer and social media manager Annie Lewis, together with graphic designer Alice Clayton, are now planning to establish a community interest company to enable Kind Of You to spread throughout our region.
Regular YorkMix readers might already know Bonnie from her musical escapades here in the city, having formerly been in the music duo The Lungs with Theo Mason Wood, and later with her own band, Bonnie & The Bailers.
She is currently recording an album at Young Thugs’ studio in South Bank. It will be released later this year.