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Then, about 10 years ago, she started getting together with

Edmonton women trade clothes while creating community

With an over stuffed closet populated by garments still sporting price tags, Kim Neeser knew she needed help.

But going cold turkey and handing the clothes straight over to a non profit seemed too hard for the self described shopaholic. So began canada goose Neeser love affair with the clothing swap, which started small in her home with a few friends, and has grown big enough to be held in a borrowed retail space on a weekend, with wine, snacks goose outlet canada and a charitable component.

always loved accumulating clothing, says the thirty something mother of two pre schoolers. I struggle with it, living in the clutter. I just thought, have good canada goose jacket outlet stuff and I don wear it and (I) have stuff to give away. swaps are no longer relegated to musty church basements where dated winter coats vie for attention with tattered board games and dusty toaster ovens. An Edmonton clothing swap called The Rack held Canada Goose Jackets in November at the trendy Studio 96 event space featured a free brunch, an canada goose black friday sale up cycling workshop, a live auction and clothing by designers from Ted Baker to Michael Kors.

is the new shopping, says Diana Harrison, the manager of Studio 96 and co creator of The Rack.

Harrison says The Rack, a new concept canada goose coats generated with the support of Macauley Revitalization that is scheduled for a repeat in the spring, attracted 350 shoppers and created big buzz in the community. The idea was hatched by Harrison and Naomi Pahl, a local artist, recycling advocate and community advocate. Both women loved clothing and fashion and were looking for a way to combine those things in a canada goose black friday sale way that created connections among like minded folks.

love clothes and I a hoarder, too, in a way, and I wanted to move clothes without spending money, says Harrison. then I met Naomi and we came up with The Rack. 35, attended her first clothing swap as a child and the concept has spoken to her values ever since.

loved the comraderie of women coming together with free clothes, says Pahl, a devoted volunteer in Macauley and the mother of four girls nine canada goose outlet black friday and under.

Pahl grew up with sisters, and they always traded clothes. Then, about 10 years ago, she started getting together with neighbours who also had a tangle of jeans and dresses in old shopping bags that they didn canada goose outlet online uk know what to do with.

able to go through your own wardrobe and pare down, with the hopes of trading it for something you really excited about, is the whole thrill of it, she says.

For several weeks prior to The Rack event, Pahl and Harrison (assisted by a team of volunteers that donated hundreds of hours to the project) accepted clothing on a Wednesday evening at Studio 96. All items were assessed; things that were torn, dirty or generally unsuitable were rejected. The two developed a tagging system that saw designer items (including Coach handbags) receive a gold token.

Other items were similarly rated and tokens dispensed to contributors, with more tokens attached to an item from Banana Republic than one from H and M. Participants brought their tokens back on swap day and clothes according to the token price on the item. Tokens were also sold for $1 each, with proceeds going to fund canada goose clearance the next event.

it a sustainable event, says Harrison, who received a matching grant of $4,000 from Macauley Revitalization that went to buy advertising, hangers, racks and other retail essentials. not done for money making. It for community spirit, and to move clothes. spirit of swapping was more than evident at Kim Neeser event, held at her mother drapery factory in north Edmonton canada goose outlet toronto factory in October and attended by about two dozen women over a two hour period. Long intrigued by the concept of the swap, I decided to participate while researching this story, and brought a handful of garments with me, including an apple green trench coat, a wool pencil skirt by J. Crew and canada goose uk shop a full length, summer T shirt dress in a tiny red and white stripe.

I assumed nobody would touch my garments because they were not good enough. Imagine my delight when I saw one of the young moms in attendance prancing about the shop looking like spring in my trench coat. I came away with a pair of hardly worn flats, and two sweaters to wear with jeans. Because you can have too many of those.

Carlin Lamoureux, 31, recently had a baby and decided to bring some of her cheap canada goose Canada Goose sale pre loved tops and bottoms to the Neeser canada goose outlet in usa sale.

weren fitting me and I knew that by the time I could wear them, I wouldn want to, she said.

Lamoureux, like the other swappers, put her items into piles divided into coats and sweaters, tops, skirts and pants. A number of scarves and other accessories hung from jewelery trees. Shoes and boots were lined up neatly in another area. Participants stashed their purses and coats in a separate space, so nobody would accidentally walk away with an item they weren ready to part with. Yet.

Celeste Castillo lugged in about 60 items and left with a coat, two pairs of pants and two sweaters.

fantastic, she says of the Neeser concept. get to purge your closet and come out with new items and canada goose outlet parka it doesn cost anything. And you get to meet new people. items not snapped up at Neeser event were donated to one of her favourite community volunteers, called canada goose outlet The Diaper Lady, who supplies disposable diapers and clothing to local shelters and soup kitchens.

After The Rack event, suitable items leftover were given to a women shelter and the Cerebral Palsy Association, leaving four industrial sized plastic bags of clothing with no place to call home. Before she throws them out, Pahl will retrieve items she can up canada goose outlet uk cycle, or turn into other garments and hand crafted items.

Naomi Pahl with a dress made from a man’s shirt.

Pahl, you see, is an artist who makes felt out of discarded, natural fibre sweaters. She turns the felt into pillows, stuffed animals and mittens that she sells at craft fairs, festivals and from her home. Pahl also creates large installations from discarded fabrics, including a six metre sculpture displayed at Deep Freeze: A Byzantine Winter Festival a few years back.

trying to save stuff from landfill, she says simply.

Certainly, the environment benefits from the clothing swap movement. According to The True Cost, a documentary on Netflix about the fast fashion industry, 80 billion new pieces of clothing are consumed every year around the world. That 400 per cent more than the amount consumed 20 years ago, with the average American generating 37 kg of textile waste annually.

Proponents say the feel good nature of the swap experience can be underestimated. canada goose outlet new york city For many women, shopping means being trapped in a badly lit dressing room, feeling insecure about the canada goose outlet store garment and stressed canadian goose jacket about spending money on it. In a swap, participants think less about size or style, says Neesor, and are ready to try on something more risky because there a woman standing next to you who will say doesn suit you or works if you but ask. Pahl echoes that sentiment.