Common Sort

by Shanelle Kaul

Common Sort is a quirky hand-picked recycled clothing boutique in the east end that buys, sells, and trades directly with their clients. You are welcome to bring in any former favs for a buyer to sift through and decide on a market price. Whatever that price may be, you would get 50% of that in trade – which means you get a voucher to be used at Common Sort within a year, and 25% of the market price in cash, on the spot.

According to owner Nicole Babin, coming up with a name for the store was torture. After weeks of going through CDs, vinyl, art books, novels, and repeated text messages, she says, “Common Sort just came to me and stuck. There was also a type of English settler coming to North America in the early 19th century was called ‘The Common Sort’ and because of my interest in history the name seemed right.”

Babin’s motto is only to sell things that she likes, and would buy herself. Drawn from years of shopping and research, her fashion sense allows her to assist customers in setting themselves apart from the crowd.

“It’s hard to categorize Common Sort in to a style because I feel that it has something for everyone.” It easily caters to a larger demographic, and carries pieces like shoes, hats, belts, and scarves from designer wear, to H&M, to authentic vintage. “It’s the type of store where you have to look through everything, each piece is different from the next and there are some true jewels in the mix, no fillers.”

The storefront is probably best known for their moving mannequins. Babin explains that her boyfriend, Stefan Powell, rigged up the mannequins’ heads with a motion detector camera so that when people walk by the store, the heads follow them. This technology, which was initially introduced at the Riverdale Artwalk, is still in the windows of Common Sort. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHKstRG5bAI.

“Selling and trading your clothes at Common Sort is really easy and you don’t need an appointment,” says Babin. “Some tips would be to bring in the items that you think will sell easily and are in good condition. We only buy in-season, so no jackets in the summer. We won’t take in anything that needs mending or has stains or bad odours. The style is important too, if items are dated they will be harder to sell and we don’t tend to take too many risks. Also, please don’t be offended if we don’t buy everything from you, we have to be very selective and there are a lot of factors we take in to account.”

Check out their website at www.commonsort.com and follow them on twitter for updates on new arrivals and events http://twitter.com/CommonSort.

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