City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Carly Brackman with her hands full of fabulous clothes.

Featured Article

Swap and Shop

How Westport is Helping Fashion Go Green

Our collective eco-consciousness has finally wended its way to the fashion industry. This industry alone is responsible for 10% of our world’s carbon emissions due to endless wastewater and harmful chemicals from dyes and synthetic fabrics.

Both companies and consumers are trying harder than ever to reduce the enormous carbon footprint stamped from constructing apparel. One of the most effective ways of diminishing this imprint is lengthening the lifetime of clothing instead of throwing them in a landfill.

In Westport, there are women who’ve been doing this for years, and a woman who’s taken it to a new level.

But let’s start with me.

About 18 years ago, while window-shopping on the Miracle Mile in Palm Beach, I spotted a fabulous vintage Lily Pulitzer dress.

It had to be mine.

I entered the store and excitedly asked “How much is this dress?”

“Isn’t it wonderful?” The saleswoman trilled. “We just got it! It’s $600.”

“Oh… Great!” I nodded conspiratorially, as if to communicate, “What a reasonable price!” Then I feigned interest in a nearby handbag before discreetly leaving.

To be clear: this was an old Lily Pulitzer dress. It wasn’t seminal fashion nor haute couture.

Three years later I found the same dress in Westport’s Roundabout. The price? $70.

That’s when I fell in love with consignment. Pawing through racks of designer apparel in a way I could never do at Neiman Marcus. Aspirational clothing at prices I could finally afford. The rare but wonderful OMG of a beautiful aubergine sweater for $19 instead of $350. It’s where the love of the clothes meets the love of the chase.

Designer Label Consignments and Roundabout are valuable in this regard. Roundabout opened in 1989. According to owner, Laurie, “There was consignment [in 1989], it just wasn’t good.”

Back then consignment was either overvalued - jacked-up prices for “vintage” high end apparel in boutiques on Madison Avenue, or underwhelming - unattractive and disheveled, incongruous with the price tags on the garments. Laurie says of those stores. “I’d rather pay thrift store prices if I’m shopping in a store that looks like a thrift store.”

She borrowed $1,500 from her dad and created a consignment store that looked like an upscale boutique. Over 30 years later, Roundabout is stronger than ever, thanks in part to a great idea well-executed.

I say “in part” because, thanks to today’s green initiatives, consignment has become eco-hot. What began as access to high-end clothing is now recognized as planet-friendly: increasing the longevity of (perfectly good) existing clothes reduces the demand for making new clothes which creates dangerous toxins ands strips the world of precious resources.

And fashionistas are loving it.

Loving it so much that they’re thinking of other ways to increase the longevity of attire and keeping it out of landfills. Enter: The Exchange Project (TEP), a “sustainable shopping event” and the brainchild of Carly Ridloff.

TEP is a really fun way to “shop” new clothes and - bonus! - provides good motivation to clean out your closet. Based on a “new to you” premise, women gather, sip wine, and select fabulous attire.

It’s simple:

  • Grab around 10 pieces or more of clothes (the good stuff - not the free t-shirt you tried, and failed, to Flashdance).
  • Hand over your items to the TEP team at a designated location and time (check the site or instagram)
  • Pay the administration/attendance fee.
  • Show up to the party and help yourself to as many items as you donated at no additional charge.

Of course, the items should be in excellent second-hand condition - no tears, stains, residue, or odd scent.

Carly holds events year ‘round, but feel free to throw in a faux fur during the summer or a bikini in the winter. Style, and sustainability, knows no season.

*These items are donated to charity or, if necessary, thrown away.

The Exchange Project’s next event is the evening of June 29.

The Exchange Project



606 Post Road East, Westport


Designer Label Consignments

1344 Post Road East, Westport

Cloud Nine Designer Consignments

339 Main Street, Westport


  • Designer apparel and accessories from Roundabout.
  • Designer apparel and accessories from Roundabout.
  • Designer apparel and accessories from Roundabout.
  • Carly Ridloff preparing for an exchange event.
  • Carly Brackman with her hands full of fabulous clothes.
  • Becca Zipkin, Bianca Jonas, and Robin Kaiden seen at the denim Bar at the Westport Launch Party.
  • View of the clothing.
  • Elena Ridloff in a faux fur Zara coat she got at the event.