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Mala Mtl brings thrifting to Montreal plus-sized community

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Sandra Munoz opened up her plus-size thrift shop in December after being frustrated with the lack of a range of sizing in the fashion industry.

"Mala Mtl is focused on helping plus-sized people get dressed more affordably and having a larger choice than usual stores do," said Munoz.

Munoz has always loved thrifting -- she would constantly be asked where she found her unique pieces. Due to the popularity with her thrift finds, Munoz had the idea to begin selling secondhand pieces on Etsy and Vinted. From there, Munoz decided to create a space where others struggling with finding clothes in their size could come together and shop.

She opened the shop at 5425 de Bordeaux St., making it the first of its kind in the city.

"Some people are even emotional, because it's very difficult to find a place that you can try 20, 30 things if you want, and everything will fit you," said Munoz.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Mala Mtl (@malamtl)

In some more mainstream plus-size stores, the clothing offered lacks style and personality, explained stylist Geri Jeune.

"I always found that the styles that I find in stores are more for like a girl-next-door kind of vibe, and I'm not the type," said Jeune.

The absence of plus-size clothing in regular stores could be due to the lack of advertising clothes to plus-sized women, the stylist suggested.

"They don't do enough marketing. I've noticed that in certain stores, they'll have their plus-sized clothing in a corner in the store. They won't necessarily advertise it. So clients don't know, right? And then, after a certain point, the company says, well, it's not selling. So we're just going to eliminate that section in the store," said Jeune.

Mala Mtl caters to those often ignored or dismissed in the mainstream clothing industry - plus-sized women. (Jessica Barile/CTV News)

Both Munoz and Jeune said that the shortage of plus-size clothing in stores can often lead to feeling 'othered' as a plus-sized woman.

"And I think that the more pressure, the more you lack of confidence, the more you try to stay in what society wants you to look like and to be," said Munoz.

The key to gaining confidence and building a killer closet in the process?

"It's not that serious. And just, you know, be comfortable with yourself and try different things," said Jeune. 

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