As I sift through my closet each year to purge clothes for donation, I have one main deciding factor: have I worn this garment within the last year (or two)? If not, it’s thrown into a bag and dropped at the closest thrift store.
But sometimes, I hold onto something I’ll never wear because it’s just so nice. Maybe you too have opened your closet and thought: this isn’t for me, but it’s just too nice to donate.
Well, perhaps we should both take a trip to one of our local clothing consignment stores, where you might be able to get a return on your initial investment. Plus, you can browse the racks in hopes of finding some buried gems—the perfect form of recycling!
Tracy Daniels-Strohm at ChicaBoom Consignment Barrie, which buys and sells clothing, jewellery, and home décor items, agrees. “Selling consignment is a way of earning money for those pieces that you bought that no longer fit your home or lifestyle. We have all purchased something that we just do not use when we get it home,” says Daniels-Strohm. “It will be treasured by someone else.” Buying and selling through consignment is also great if you’ve changed a size: “We have consignors who have lost or gained weight; this is an economical way to turn over your wardrobe and get pieces that now work for you,” says Daniels-Strohm. Plus, cash earned on consignment can go further if you spend in store, according to Daniels-Strohm. “Many of our consignors keep money in their account for purchases. We even give you an extra 10% off your purchase if you use your store credit.”
Theresa Gifford at Closet Jems in Orillia emphasizes how consignment can help both the environment and community. “The clothing industries and manufacturers are one of the largest polluting industries in the world,” says Gifford. “There’s a lot of different benefits to both sides of consignment: you’re going to make a bit of money, and it keeps waste out of our landfills.” Gifford also uses her business to support local charities: “My items stay in the store for sixty days: we do a full-price and half-price each for thirty days. Anything that doesn’t sell after that sixty-day turnover gets donated to local charities in the community.” So, either you’re going to get a little bit of return on your investment, or you’re going to know that your items will be donated to a good cause. “For me, it was a way to help out in the community,” says Gifford. “I’ve been doing this now for well over twenty years.”
Here’s a real game-changer: you wear it once and then it’s relegated to the back of your closet… What about buying and selling your wedding dress through consignment?
Loved Again Bridal Boutique, owned by Megan Blades, specializes in buying and selling wedding garments on consignment. “You’re going to make a bit of money, you’re going to clear it out of your closet, and someone else is going to be able to get something special,” says Blades. And her prices can’t be beat: “Everything in the store is $1000 and under—I try to keep everything under $500.” Plus, “There’s a lot of choice; everything is very repetitive in normal bridal stores. They’re carrying what’s in for the season, whereas I have more variety,” says Blades. “You can try it on in your actual size: you don’t have to look at a sample and figure out if it’s going to work.”
Blades sums it up well: when buying and selling through consignment, “There’s something for everyone.”
by Emily Bednarz
Closet Jems Consignment Boutique
Loved Again Bridal Boutique