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Berkeley Couple Launches Site to Swap Kids/Teen Clothing, Sporting Goods

A Berkeley couple recently created "Double Dutchery," a website that serves as a community clothing swap to help parents save money on gently used kids and teens' clothing and sporting goods.

Berkeley parents Wendy and Robbie Whiting, co-founders of online kids/teens clothing swap, Double Dutchery. Photo credit: Soren Whiting
Berkeley parents Wendy and Robbie Whiting, co-founders of online kids/teens clothing swap, Double Dutchery. Photo credit: Soren Whiting
Are your kids growing out of their clothes too quickly? 

Double Dutchery is a new online destination created by a Berkeley couple for parents to exchange gently used clothing for kids and teens as well as sporting goods across the United States. 

The enterprise hopes to become a go-to website for those who need back-to-school outfits for their kids or want to get rid of the piles of outgrown clothes. 

Berkeley parents Wendy and Robbie Whiting came up with the idea of an online clothing exchange when they left their close network of family and friends in Los Angeles four years ago. 

With a 13-year-old son "growing like a weed" and a 7-year-old daughter, the amount of clothing they went through was "overwhelming," said 39-year-old Wendy. 

"We used to have a lot of connections with people in Southern California that we could trade our clothing with," she said. "We were just left with bags full of clothing and not sure what to do with them."

After about a year of toying around with the idea, the couple launched Double Dutchery in May. 

They decided on the name "Double Dutchery" because they liked the idea that the site brings people together for the same common cause, much like the two intersecting ropes of a Double Dutch game. 

There's no charge for the clothing exchanged on Double Dutchery – for every box of clothing you list to "sell," you receive points to "buy" other boxes. 

You pay only for shipping and a $6 handling cost. For example, the total cost for a small box containing up to three items is $11.10 while a large box containing more than 10 items is $20.80. 

As a seller, you will receive a prepaid shipping label once a buyer wants your items. Then you take the items and shipping label to the United States Postal Service and select a small, medium or large USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box which will be available for free with the prepaid shipping label. 

Those offering a box of clothes or sporting goods to exchange must post photos and a description of the items, including information on the gender, size, season and brand of clothing. All of the boxes available can be viewed on their website. 

To ensure the quality of the clothing, there is also a rating system to weed out people that may post unsanitary clothing. 

"You shouldn't post anything that you wouldn't want your own kids in," said Wendy.

Double Dutchery has been up and running for almost three months now and has close to a 100 members. But Wendy says that getting people to upload boxes will be critical to their growth. 

"I just love the idea of taking something that I've owned and no longer need and finding somebody that can actually use it," said Wendy. 

One member from Chicago told Wendy how much she loved putting the boxes together and recalling all the great memories from when her son was wearing those clothes. 

"It's really special to be able to pass it on to someone that can use it," said Wendy. 

While Wendy works on Double Dutchery full-time, 42-year-old husband Robbie helps out during his spare time. He is a developer and co-founder of Argonaut, an advertising agency in San Francisco. 

The couple is planning to expand Double Dutchery to include maternity clothing as well as women and men's fashion in the near future. 
Wendy Whiting August 06, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Thank you Euna & Albany Patch for such a wonderful article on Double Dutchery! We're proudof being a Bay Area startup!
Jennifer Creek Sant'Anna August 13, 2013 at 08:01 PM
What a great idea. My children's school has science camp and I'd buy hiking boots for the kids - 4th - 8th grade that they'd wear for a week only. Always wanted to set up an exchange in the parking lot of the school. Hope this is successful.

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