Inflation adds another layer with winter clothes
Report by Marie-Pier Mercier on winter expenses, which pose an additional challenge for low-income families
After groceries, gas and school supplies, Quebec parents must now expect to pay more for their children's winter clothes, inflation obliges. This price surge has clearly visible impacts in the clothing counters.
Faced with the increase in their expenses, clothing retailers often have no choice but to pass on part of the bill to their customers.
The Quebec company Nanö designs clothes for children and has them manufactured in Asia. Since last year, bringing a container from this continent has cost him four times as much.
The increase is reflected in the prices offered in stores. Nanö's winter clothes are selling for an average of $20 more than last year.
We all have surcharges. […] We had no choice but to adjust to compensate for this increase, explains the co-owner, Nancy Bédard.
Nancy Bédard explains that Nanö had to increase the price of her winter clothes by $20 to compensate for the increase in her expenses over the past year.
For families who are already struggling to make ends meet, this kind of increase represents an additional financial headache.
In order to help them ensure that the expenses associated with the change of season do not prevent them from meeting their other basic needs, Entraide Agapè, a Quebec organization, has significantly reduced the prices of most of its items.< /p>
We decided, for the month of October, to lower all the prices of items at the ressourcerie to give people's wallets a chance, thinking that the money saved for certain essential items, particularly in the change of season, clothes, winter things, could be attributed to the grocery budget, explains in an interview with Radio-Canada Geneviève Beaubien, communications manager at Entraide Agapè.
As an example, all adult clothing, except for coats, is priced at $3 apiece, whereas it normally costs $4 to $10. Children's clothing other than coats is sold for $1.
Geneviève Beaubien says that more and more people are asking Entraide Agapè for help for the first time.
Entraide Agapè offers food and material aid to people and families in situations of poverty or vulnerability. This organization finances a portion of its donations with the profits of a second-hand clothing store it operates on Chemin Royal, in the Beauport sector.
Executive Director of Entraide Agapè, Daniel Régimbal, says that winter is always a fairly important period for requests for clothing donations. His organization is solicited by families and even by schools.
Often young people arrive at school [and] have no gloves, no toque, no mittens, no winter coat. So the schools call us and we give them clothes so that they can make up for the lack of young people, when it's not food, [because we] also give them snacks, mentions Ms. . Régimbal.
Geneviève Beaubien and Daniel Régimbal have seen a considerable increase in the number of requests for food and material donations in recent months.
He says he has seen a considerable increase in the number of requests for donations materials and food since March and April. According to the director general, inflation is not unrelated to this increase.
In 2020-2021, material donations made by Entraide Agapè amounted to $35,000. Exact numbers for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which ended August 31, have yet to be determined.
Looking at material donations made since the beginning of the month September, Daniel Régimbal expects them to total $140,000 in 2022-2023.
With information from Camille Carpentier