Frequently Asked Questions
Can't find the answer you're looking for? We've shared some of our most frequently asked questions to help you out!
How do I contact your company if my question isn’t answered here?
CLOTHING CONDITION & SIZING
What is the condition of capsule items?
All garments come from families like yours (either directly or through a local reseller), and are inspected for quality of fabric and construction, and for wear/damage. Before they ship, all items have been washed in cold water with gentle detergent and dried appropriately. Expect garments to be in GUC-EUC (Good to Excellent Used Condition).
How can I tell my size?
You give it to us! Kids’ sizing on labels is based on age, so it’s often inconsistent and misleading. We will strive to find the best fit possible using a good old tape measure.
How can I be sure to get what I want without seeing photos of everything available?
Making shopping choices isn’t the ideal way our customers choose to spend their valuable time, even on their phones. Would you rather scroll through hundreds of t-shirts to select the best one, or spend those minutes on self-care or quality time with your loved ones?
Phoenix Preworn sources on demand as we build our service. We choose good-quality used clothing from discerning secondhand retailers, donations from customers and community, and new items that meet high ethical/sustainability standards. Because we get items from a variety of sources, capsules consist of the items available when you order.
Why don’t you offer other essentials (footwear, outerwear, underwear)?
We’re working on those! Let us know what add-on options you want most, and we’ll keep searching for the right vendors and partners to meet your needs as fast as we can!
ORDERS & PAYMENT
How do I make changes to an order I’ve already placed?
Let us know right away and we’ll make any changes possible unless your capsule has already shipped. To avoid wasted resources, please take measurements carefully and make your preferences clear during signup.
What do I do if I received a defective order?
It’s possible that clothing doesn’t perform as expected. If you discover an issue, please show us a photo of the damaged item/area so we can solve the problem with you.
What if I’m not 100% delighted with the wardrobe I receive?
If that happens, please contact us to find a way to fix the mistake. If you don’t want to find a solution together, just return your wardrobe within 30 days for a full refund.
How can I pay?
We use PayPal and Stripe so you can use credit (Visa/MasterCard) or debit.
Do you offer subscriptions or flat rates? Can I switch from one to the other?
If you order as needed (i.e. opt-in service), you'll be paying per shipment, and you choose how many you want each year (eg. 2 shipment to cover spring/summer & fall/winter OR 4 shipments if you prefer a new one for each season).
We would like to move toward subscription (defaulting to 4 wardrobes/year, with manual opt-out), and monthly pricing will depend how long each wardrobe is borrowed vs. how many overall wardrobes are ordered per year. Join the mailing list to stay updated about changes.
In both cases, we will replace any item that does not meet your needs within the first 30 days. It’s no problem to switch from one to the other, just let us know and we’ll set it up for you.
What happens when I return clothes? What is the return policy?
It means you are participating! The policy is: please return. We expect normal wear and tear. Go ahead and send everything back, and if an item is missing we request that you include an equivalent substitute that you no longer need.
How am I supposed to keep track of my Phoenix Capsule to return it?
We manage this for you. When you make your first order you’ll get a photo inventory, and another one when you ask for your replacement, to make it easier to return the first once a second arrives. We are exploring a tag/label system to simplify the process.
What if I don’t want to return my capsule? How can I keep it?
Our program is modeled on the value of access over ownership. Many of us find it more helpful to use what we need when we need it, and not be burdened by more stuff. Think streaming entertainment, car shares, etc.
That said, folks have great reasons to keep capsules (e.g. to give to a sibling or other relative or a local child in need). To buy a capsule outright, we will either add a replacement fee to your monthly subscription price or you can choose to pay a flat fee up front.
What if my kid(s) love some of the clothes and they still fit and still work despite the change of season?
Great! Here’s the deal: hang on to those favourites and then return them later on. We can subtract them from your reorder so you don’t end up accumulating more clothes to fill up your laundry and storage areas.
What are the shipping options? Where are you located?
Canada Post is our preferred shipper. We send our capsules nationwide from the Greater Toronto area.
What are the international taxes, duties, etc. that I have to pay?
Right now we only ship to Canadian addresses that are subject to HST/PST/GST. This is partly to minimize the carbon burden of shipping, and to avoid red tape. If you’re unlucky enough not to live in the Great White North, here are some other cool options for you (UK, USA). If you really love us and want shipping elsewhere, send a message with your request and we’ll do what we can.
When will I receive my order?
Timelines vary based on demand, and are currently 5-7 business days. In special cases we may do a rush order for an additional fee.
What do I do if I never received my order?
That’s no good. We track packages and do our best to prevent that kind of problem, but if it happens let us know and we’ll refund you and investigate via Canada Post.
CARE & END OF LIFE
Am I supposed to treat the capsule clothes with extra special care?
Think of your capsule sort of like a collection of library books. Use them both well and respectfully.
How can I repair & care for my capsule?
We will take care of repairs/upcycling at our end once you send in your return. If you want to mend something during your turn using it, consult the handy guide put together by our heroes over at Patagonia Worn Wear.
Thoughtful maintenance keeps clothes in great shape for a long time and that’s what reduces carbon burden for the earth. Three guidelines:
- Wash only when truly needed (e.g. actually dirty in more than 1 spot)
- Wash in cold water, with mild liquid detergent, and line dry
- Use mostly natural fibres and use a filter for synthetics
How can I recycle my capsule responsibly?
When you request a replacement, we’ll send you a photo checklist to collect your previous one, and a labeled compostable mailer to return it to us.
Will I spend every spare minute doing laundry?
Been there. The short answer is no. The longer answer is that you might wash laundry more often, but when you do there are fewer items to fold and put away, so your own effort should be reduced quite a bit! Also, it feels great to put things away when there’s lots of space for them instead of squeezing them in or leaving them in piles (guilty over here).
What happens to clothes that are damaged/stained to the point of retirement?
We’ll ensure that all textiles are put into a nearby reuse/recycling program whenever possible, to keep clothes out of landfills and incinerators here and abroad.
FOR THE SKEPTICS
How do I choose clothes every day?
Have fun with it. Here are two suggestions:
- Put away clean clothes to the back or one side of your storage, and just pick from the opposite side, making the dresser/closet into a fun sort of clothing PEZ dispenser.
- Close your eyes, reach one hand into the tops area and the other into the bottoms area, and take 2 items. Gently combine on child.
Why wouldn’t I just use hand-me downs? I can get secondhand clothes cheaply or free, so why would I pay you $$$ a month?
There is a cost to everything, and I’ve found that with hand-me-downs the cost is effort, time, and space. Add to that the hit-or-miss nature of sizing, season and style and it’s a lot of unpaid work and stress to reach a poor arrangement. Your time is valuable. Use it to do what you really are about and leave clothes to us.
Isn’t it better to buy high-quality, organic/ethical clothes from local brands?
If you’re doing that, awesome! And if you’re reusing them, even better. The majority of resources used in the textile industry are for initial fabric production, so the more we can divert purchases away from brand new clothing the better – even when they are made ethically and sustainably.
Is there something wrong with used clothes? I’m worried they’ll be dirty, smelly, dangerous or ugly.
We pay close attention to the condition of clothes to ensure that when they reach you, you’d be surprised that they weren’t just freshly laundered new clothes.
Why should I switch, since it’s the government’s job to fix climate change?
I feel the same frustration. Government and industry have a responsibility to do better. And we can show leadership by walking away from deals that are bad in the long-term and demanding more labour transparency and eco-stewardship. Where people go, policy follows. We can look to same-sex marriage for a great example! GO LGBTQ2 team!
What am I going to do about all the gifts/donations of clothes I’ll receive?
You can try a few things: pass them on to others in your community or send them to us, or ask would-be gifters for special needs in your kids’ wardrobes.
Isn’t having a wardrobe stylist for a kid a little much?
There are so many important things to know and experience in the world. It’s easy to dismiss fashion as superficial, but we think of it as something powerful. It’s a direct, visual way we communicate with each other.
Aren’t there more vital changes people should make rather than fashion?
Due to habit and culture we often don’t make changes, even when we want to. The main thing is to start somewhere. As citizens, the items we buy most overall are food and clothing*, so we’re making it easier for families to get away from the fast fashion status quo.
*Transportation and housing are big too, but the options are influenced a lot by our location. If you want to start elsewhere, you could eat more plant-based foods, ride a bike, or make your home greener.
I don’t even have my own capsule wardrobe yet! Why does my kid get one?
Sounds like someone loves the idea of a capsule and wants to lead the charge in their family. Explore a few options from folks we’re fans of: design your own, outsource it, or do a combo. And then come on back and sign up with us for your kids.
Isn’t e-commerce killing the earth with shipping emissions?
We’ve read those Amazon exposés too. The emissions from producing new textiles are greater than those produced from all maritime and aviation transport. We use Canada Post because they are working hard on sustainability and they abide by labour standards others evade.
What makes you qualified to dress my kids better than I can myself?
I’m passionate about helping busy parents. I used to commute to work full-time with 2 young kids in daycare. I know how crazy days and weeks can get. My qualification is my deep desire to support a mainstream transition toward clothing reuse, and I’ve had some practice and glowing reviews.
How do I know my kid(s) will look presentable?
You dictate what presentable means for your family. It can mean fresh and functional, it can mean activewear in a summer palette, it can just mean comfort. You tell us at the outset what your needs are, and we’ll ensure that your capsule will fulfill them.