Unique discount offer helps women in need

Spring is a time for switching it up so why not go to shopping and “swap”?

Milk Shop, a clothing and accessory store in the ByWard Market, is hosting its second annual “Spring Swap” this weekend in support of a local day program for women.

The Spring Swap is a chance for customers to bring in gently used clothing that is taking up space in their closets and donate it to a good cause. Each person who brings in gently used clothing will get a customer discount of 20 per cent, and the store will give the clothing to women in Ottawa who need those items most.

Inaas Kiryakos, co-owner of Milk Shop, got the idea for a clothing swap through her friends and previous events she’s been to. But since Milk is a new-merchandise-only boutique, keeping the swapped clothing wasn’t really an option.

“So instead of swapping with clothing, we decided to have a special sale where in exchange for the clothing they donate, we would offer our clients a discount off new merchandise,” Kiryakos said.

Last March, Milk Shop hosted its first Spring Swap to test drive the idea, and was able to collect a few large bags of clothing by the end of the weekend.

The items were then donated to The Well, a day program in Ottawa for women and mothers that provides a safe and supportive gathering place where the women can meet and encourage each other. The Well also provides activities like yoga, birthday teas and arts and crafts.

Whether it’s donating money or clothing, it’s always important to give back to our community, Kiryakos said. “There are many women in Ottawa who really can’t afford to go shopping.”

Kiryakos hopes this year’s event will be even more successful, as they are holding it for three days compared to last year’s two. It starts Friday night and she expects this will bring in more foot traffic from people getting off work.

“Milk works hard to be an active member of the community,” said Gabrielle Tieman, Milk’s social media intern. “With events such as Spring Swap, we hope to gain awareness (about) women in need throughout Ottawa, as well as do our part to help the community and have some fun at the same time.”

You can take advantage of Spring Swap by visiting Milk Shop, 234 Dalhousie St., from March 23 to 25.

Connect with Laura Green |lgreen@ottawacitizen.com