Frugal fashionistas in the Leslieville area flocked to Queen Street East Presbyterian Church on October 13 for the Autumn Uber-Swap. Nathalie-Roze & Co., a funky vintage and craft boutique on Queen Street East, hosts the swap four times a year.
The creative recycling philosophy of the event is that a donation of at least ten articles of clothing and purchase of a ticket can get women of all ages and sizes the opportunity to swap their things and leave with a bag different clothes.
Shop owner and Nathalie-Roze Fischer says, “It gives people a chance to update their wardrobes for only $10.”
The small room in the church is haphazardly organized with heaps of clothing in every corner of the room, while women speedily rifle through the piles with delight. A woman leaving the room said to her friend, “There’s just a good vibe in there.”
The Uber-Swap started out as a “laugh” according to Fischer, but became so popular that the boutique now hosts the event for every season of the year.
While the clientele at the event consisted of mostly middle-aged women in groups or with their daughters, there were also quite a few students in attendance.
Fischer points to a young blonde carrying a huge armload of stuff and says, “That’s Camille, our die-hard scavenger. She’s got a very good eye for vintage.”
Camille Jodoin-Eng has been the first one in line for almost every Uber-Swap, and usually stays for the full three hours of the event. The 21-year-old drawing and painting student at OCAD laughs and says, “I only take breaks if I’m dying of hunger or have to pee.”
Students in the city who are on a tight budget can take advantage of events such as the Uber-Swap and cut the cost of clothing.
“I used to shop at Value Village for good deals, but now I don’t even have to buy clothes anymore,” Jodoin-Eng says.
Fischer makes her way around the room, chatting happily to her regular customers and introducing herself to unfamiliar faces. This is just one example of how Nathalie-Roze & Co. is a community-oriented business that promotes creativity and thriftiness.
Uber-Swap is bringing people together through their closets. For anybody considering purging some old clothes, Fischer says with assurance, “It’s worth crossing the DVP for.”