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22 Mar, Wednesday
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Montreal Families

Changeroo gives new meaning to the old switcheroo

What do you get when you combine name brands, low prices, environmental awareness and the perils of fast fashion? You get Changeroo.

Mom of three, Liane Guimond, started the business in April as a way to help parents save money on kids’ clothing, Changeroo is an online store offering a variety of upscale, quality brands at 75% off their retail price.

“Kids grow out of their clothing very quickly,” Guimond explains, “and it’s very costly. Sometimes you might even have something you think will fit next season, but the kids have outgrown it. Some (clothes) haven’t even been worn.”

Guimond’s store is stocked exclusively by donations. Changeroo sends free bags for donors to ship the clothing they no longer use (shipping is free). Guimond then sifts through the  donated clothes for ones that fit Changeroo’s criteria: no rips, tears or frayed edges; no bad smells; no missing buttons or broken zippers.

“(We carry) quality brands,” Guimond says, like Tommy Hilfiger, Baby Guess, Nautica and Gap. “I don’t take the lower-quality brands that people could buy dirt cheap anyway.”

Those who send in donated clothes are rewarded with online credits. – “If you send in enough stuff, you can end up getting a whole new wardrobe without paying for it,” she says.

But it isn’t only about looking good; it’s about doing good, too.

“There’s an ethical cost to fast fashion,” Guimond says. “The whole sweatshop thing is a bad scene. Then there’s the eco waste of producing the clothes: the water used, the dyes that are going into the water, and the transportation costs to ship clothing from overseas.

“This has already been done with the clothes I’m selling,” she says, “and the process doesn’t needlessly repeat itself.”

Changeroo also has a maternity wear section which Guimond hopes to expand soon.

To shop online or to order a donation bag, visit changeroo.ca.

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