Located at 836 E. Johnson St. in Madison, Upshift Swap Shop looks at first glance like any other thrift or consignment store: 500 square feet filled with racks of tops, skirts and pants for people of all genders.
But here, most items don’t have price tags. That’s because the nine-year-old store’s fundamental premise is to trade, not buy, though owner Lindsay Leno also recently added a buy option.
Shoppers can bring a bag of gently used clothing, pay $20, and then fill that bag with the secondhand clothing of their choice. Other options include filling a bag, without trading, for $30 or buying items individually for $2 to $10.
For Leno, sharing is a way of life., a model that she believes offers fresh style with less waste.
“I really think this sharing system, if it were to become a mainstream form of retail, would completely change where consumerism is going,” Leno said. “You could still have a closet full of clothes, but without harming the environment.”
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