In fashion: Edmonton's second-hand market event draws hundreds

Edmonton's growing thrift culture was on full display this weekend as hundreds flocked to a second-hand market event which exceeded organizers' expectations. 

The Wardrobe Exchange, a two-day curated shopping event which wrapped up Saturday at Epcor Tower, drew about 750 shoppers.    

The event is an opportunity for local designers and boutiques to move old or returned stock at discounted prices, and for individuals to clear out their personal closets.

The first Wardrobe Exchange event took place last spring, drawing over 400 guests. Organizers expected 600 to attend this weekend's public second-hand market which had 60 vendors selling used men's and women's clothing and accessories. 

"Shopping from thrift stores and consignment stores is the cool way to shop right now." - Ryan Sokalski, Vendor

The event underscored the growing demand and need for second-hand fashion in Edmonton, organizer and online second-hand shop owner Jennifer McConaghy said. 

"We want our clothing to be used more circularly within the local community as much as we can," McConaghy said. "Sustainable fashion is really growing and it's important for our environment …  It takes a lot of resources to make jeans for example, so the more we can reuse that's already made, the better, rather than buying it brand new."

Vendor Ryan Sokalski said buying second-hand is becoming more popular.  

Danielle Kadjo/CBC

"I honestly think that shopping from thrift stores and consignment stores is the cool way to shop right now," Sokalski said. "There's no stigma against it anymore."

Clothes not sold at the event were donated to Goodwill. 

Organizers plan to hold the exchange again next spring.