Plato’s Closet


Students who have clothing they no longer want can trade it in for much needed cash.

Plato’s Closet, located in Oakville at 335 Iroquois Shore Rd., is opening in March and is a relatively new idea for Canadian clothing stores, the owner says.

“I think it’s a brilliant concept. It’s recycling and renewing people’s wardrobe at the same time,” said owner Jill McChesney while visiting Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus last week.

“The concept is this: You go through your closet and you find 20 things or however many that may be you don’t wear anymore or just don’t fit. You can bring it to us. We deal mostly with brand names but we have a range of everything.”

She said that unlike a consignment store, McChesney buys the clothing directly from people. This allows people to walk away with cash right away.

“We buy it from you directly. It’s not consignment. So it’s not where you leave it and if it sells we give you money right later. We buy it from you right away. You leave with cash in your pocket. “

She also described the process of what the store does after they buy the clothing.

“We turn around and take the garments we bought from you. We mark it up 30 to 40 per cent depending on what the garment is and it goes back on our store floor. The general public will come in and now they can buy it for 70 per cent of roughly of what it would been had they gone to the store and bought it new.”

She said the type of clothing they buy is not old or vintage.

“We target clothes that are a year to a year and a half old. So you’re still seeing the styles and trends involved currently. It’s not like you’re going in there and it’s like that was ‘in’ five years ago. I’m not interested. It’s current clothing, accessories, belts and shoes, lots of shoes.

Men and women ages 12 to 24 roughly is what we attract, although we have a lot of moms coming in and bringing their kids and shopping.”

Plato’s Closet looks for brands such as  American Eagle, Aritzia, Bench, Lululemon, Roxy, Pink, Hollister and Billabong.

“It is a franchise. The parent company is called Winmark,” said McChesney. “They have over 900 stores that basically focus on reusing and recycling things. So they own Once Upon a Child, Play Again Sports, they have lots of different reuse and recycle concepts.”

They are currently hiring people for their new location in Oakville and are also hiring full and part time students. They also have locations in St. Catharines, Burlington and Hamilton. Applications are available at