Amsterdam ‘fashion library’ takes aim at clothes waste

Amsterdam ‘fashion library’ takes aim at clothes waste

Ikram Cakir hands over a multi-coloured blue and white blouse and selects a similar item, this time in hot pink. Welcome to Amsterdam’s “fashion library”

Billed as one of the world’s only physical centres for renting used and new clothing, the “big shared wardrobe” in the Dutch capital is a response to clothes waste and fashion industry pollution.

Hundreds of brightly coloured trousers, coats and overalls are sorted by brand or style, each with a tag indicating a sale price or how much it costs to rent the item per day.

The daily rental price varies from around 50 euro cents ($0.55) to a couple of euros, depending on the customer’s loyalty — how often he or she rents clothes and how many are borrowed.

For Cakir, a 37-year-old NGO campaign manager, the concept is “just really good”.

“So many clothes are bought and then never used,” she told AFP. “This is an excellent way to wear new clothes without depleting the planet,” added Cakir.

Globally, the equivalent of a truckload of clothes is burnt or buried in landfills every second, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity focused on eliminating waste and pollution.

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