New swap shop for kids' clothing aims to help out parents in Milton Park neighbourhood

A new non-profit in Montreal is trying to make it easier for parents to trade old children's clothes instead of buying new ones as soon as they are outgrown.

Moo Choo shop wants to encourage families to trade clothes rather than buying new

MOO CHOO is a thrift shop...without the 'shop'

2 months ago
A community-led initiative in Milton Park lets parents swap out their kids' outgrown outfits for new-to-them threads. 2:44

A new non-profit in the neighbourhood of Milton Park is trying to make it easier for parents to trade in old kids' clothes instead of buying new ones as soon as they are outgrown.

Shawna Hill created the Moo Choo swap shop, located in the Galeries Du Parc mall, to help out fellow parents.

"I started thinking about it when I had my first daughter because I realized how fast she was growing and how I was constantly needing to get new clothes. I was lucky to have lots of friends and family that had lots of hand-me-downs to pass on," Hill said.

"So many people have kids in the neighbourhood and I thought if we had some kind of place where we could all share the clothes, it would make sense."

Hill reached out to the community centre, the Milton-Park Recreational Association, and partnered with them to set up in a corner of their unused space. She also received a grant from the borough for the project.

The shop operates on an exchange model, where parents can bring something that no longer fits their child and leave with something that will.

"I just ask that the items are in relatively good condition and clean," said Hill.

Shawna Hill started the project to create a place she would have benefitted from when she was a new mom. (Jessica Wu/CBC)

She added that, so far, people in the community have responded well to the idea.

"The parents that have come in are really excited and enthusiastic about the project."

Camille Vanasse, who popped by the shop this week, told CBC that she was trading in clothes for her four-month-old who has been growing quickly.

"Kids are growing so fast that it helps a lot to have a place like this, cause [otherwise] we would be shopping every week," she said.

Even though they are small, children's clothes can be expensive, she said, and they may not last through a growth spurt.

"[Clothes] can last for two weeks sometimes, so it's really better to exchange the clothes."

With files from Rowan Kennedy

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