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Clothing Library Aims to Save You Money

Hamilton’s Carousel Clothing Library Aims to Save You Money – And Save the Planet

Thursday 17 May 2018


With the clothing industry increasingly recognised as one of the top contributors to environmental and social issues, a Hamilton woman has come up with a solution which allows people to recycle and borrow clothes.

Sarah Wolf started the Carousel Clothing Library, in Hamilton’s Victoria Street, as a way for people to regularly change and update their clothes without having to throw old clothing away.

“The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, next to oil and agriculture,” says Sarah. “For example, cotton has a huge impact on the environment. Right through the supply chain, from the growing of cotton to the manufacture of the fabric, cotton uses enormous amounts of pesticides and water. One T-shirt uses the equivalent of a year’s drinking water for one person.”

Sarah says consumers’ taste for cheap clothing has fuelled an increase in global competition in the garment industry, leading to poor working conditions for many employees in developing nations.

“I think there’s a disconnect with fashion and I think it’s a bit of an addiction. Even though people are aware of the social issues around it, like the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, people somehow manage to shut it out, to detach, and they keep on buying more disposable fashion.”

Sarah says people might think it’s acceptable to buy lots of clothes if they donate their old ones to op-shops. However, she says that mentality needs a re-think.

“People might think they’re doing the right thing by buying new clothes and then donating them to the op shop when they’re finished - but actually the op shops are often overwhelmed and need to pay money to dispose of all the extra clothes. It ends up in landfill and when that degrades the toxins and microfibres end up in the waterways.”

The solution, says Sarah, is consciousness.

“There has been a lot of publicity around microplastics, recently with straws, and people are more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies. Now they need to adopt the same consciousness around what they’re wearing. Our consumption practices are unsustainable and are harming people and the environment.”

People can sign up to the Carousel Clothing Library for a one-off fee of $40, then a monthly subscription with options to suit their needs and budget. Items available to loan include top New Zealand and international labels like Karen Walker, Kowtow, RUBY, Arc & Bow, Kate Sylvester, Mina Perhonen.

The Carousel Clothing Library can be found upstairs at 223 Victoria Street, Hamilton (next to Trek N Travel), online at carousellibrary.co.nz or on Facebook under“Carousel: Clothing Library.”

© Scoop Media

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