VANCOUVER — Sisters Sammie Jo, Kimberly and Vinelli Rumbaua first got the idea of a “frock swap” from their friends.
Under their group “Power of Three,” they organized “The Exchange” as a fun experience for women for a good cause.
“The idea was that we would bring our own items and then a lot of other women could also bring their own items, and they would sort it out like a store,” said Vinelli. “Something different that we do, is that after all of the items have been sorted through by women, we should donate it, so either through local charities or dress for success.”
“It’s just fun, it’s really awesome. A lot of our friends always request it, for ourselves, too, like we like to get rid of a lot of things and then we find new treasures that other people are trying to get rid of,” said Kimberly.
Some of the items donated were designer brand clothes, jackets, coats and fashionable shoes.
Some still had tags or were still in plastic bags.
The participants were asked to drop off their donations before the actual “shopping day,” so
that the organizers can sort and display them properly.
“Women can bring 20 items, whether they’re clothing, accessories, shoes or bags and there’s a ticketed item and there is a VIP ticket where you are able to come in 30 minutes before the regular crowd and so you get a little bit of a headstart,” said Sammie. “So you’re coming in without any money and just coming in for a good time, just you know, shopping for clothes, for the season.”
“Jen” is one of the VIP exchangers who was really excited about all her good finds.
Since she got the all-access pass, she got first dibs on a Wilfred Free bomber jacket, an Oak + Fort dress, and a pair of Sam Edelman sandals, with tags still on.
She came to the “Power of Three’s” first clothes swap last year, and supports their idea of trading off stuff that is no longer used.
“You know, there is really something that somebody else can benefit from and also all the money raised actually goes back to church,” she says.
The Rumbaua sisters are hopeful they’ll be able to organize similar events in the future, not just as a cost-effective way for women to shop, but also as a way of reaching out and helping other women in their church.
“It’s sustainable shopping, you know, there’s so many material things that are being produced and this way, we’re able to really recycle and reuse and share clothes and styles for local communities. It’s fun!”