This Clothing Library Is Changing The Way We Get New Clothes

Foto: Petter Cohen

Foto: Petter Cohen

In Sweden, concerns about the environmental impact of textile waste fueled the idea behind this Clothing Library in Stockholm. Instead of buying new clothes every time you want to refresh your wardrobe, members of this clothing library (lanengardenroben) pay about $44 for a 6 month membership.

Foto: Petter Cohen

Foto: Petter Cohen

The clothing library is a stark contrast to practices of “Fast fashion,” in the United States, where brands like Forever 21 and H&M churn out new trend pieces almost every week, the library allows members to constantly change and update their clothing without having to throw old clothing away.

The library also allows members to save money, in addition to saving the planet. The library is especially useful for special event clothing, such as dresses for graduations and weddings, where it’s normally possible to buy a garment and only ever wear it one time.

Foto: Petter Cohen

Foto: Petter Cohen The Clothing Library, in Stockholm, Sweden

In the United States, the EPA estimates that textile waste makes up around 5% of all waste in landfills. It estimates that only 15% of all the textiles in the United States are recycled, leaving a massive 85% of used textiles that are discarded in landfills.

Initiatives like the Clothing Library in Sweden could curb huge amounts of textile waste from ending up in landfills if practiced on a mass scale. Advocates of sustainable fashion have been vocal about the idea of the fashion industry shifting to a borrowing model.

NYC currently has a high end version, allbrightNYC which services editorial teams, the cast of TV shows, and celebrities with high end designer digs, but the library is not open for the use of the public at large.

Imagine being able to go to your local clothing library and checking out whatever you liked whenever you felt like you wanted a new look. Widespread Clothing Libraries open to the public would certainly democratize fashion.

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