Montreal

It's out with the old and in with the new at this Griffintown swap shop

The Montreal Barter Club, which opened three weeks ago, allows people to trade in their unwanted clothing in exchange for something new(ish) in return.

At the Montreal Barter Club, shoppers trade in their unwanted clothing for something chic in return

Rosemary Hosson opened the space in Griffintown three weeks ago and is hoping this shopping alternative will catch on. (CBC)

The Montreal Barter Club is much like any other boutique. It's got racks of clothing, shelves with purses and sunglasses, and a friendly face greeting customers on the way in.

The only difference is that customers don't pay for the items in their baskets.

Rosemary Hosson is the brains behind the Montreal Barter Club, "a perpetual clothing swap" operating out of a second-floor commercial space on William Street.

Hosson has been organizing clothing swaps at her home, at craft fairs and in community centres for over a decade.

This month she expanded her reach, moving into the Griffintown space and opening her doors to the public.

"Basically, for every piece you bring in, you can leave with another piece," Hosson said.

Customers pay a $10 entrance fee that helps pay for Hosson's overhead costs, then they are free to wander around and see what strikes their fancy.

'Everyone is more and more aware now of how many tonnes of clothing gets diverted to landfills every year,' Hosson said. (CBC)

People can bring up to 25 pieces of clothing or accessories to trade.

She's hoping people will be attracted by the environmentally friendly mandate of the shop and consider changing their shopping habits.

"Everyone is more and more aware now of how many tonnes of clothing gets diverted to landfills every year," Hosson said.

Even though the shop has only been open for three weeks, she says it already has a loyal clientele.

"So far, pretty much everyone's left with a piece they've absolutely fallen in love with. So it becomes really worth it," she said.

With files from Verity Stevenson

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