One Australian woman has opened a 'Clothes Library' to encourage shoppers to rent instead of purchase clothes and break their addiction to fast fashion. Meanwhile a major charity recycling clothes is examining better ways to sort and repurpose garments to
In a small shop along one of Sydney's busiest streets, Sarah Freeman is encouraging Australians to slow down and break their addiction to fast fashion.
Shocked by the speed at which Australians buy and throw away cheap garments, she is trying to harness an ancient concept -- libraries -- to persuade shoppers to rent instead of purchase clothes.
"Today's society just seem to wear clothes like condoms. They wear them once and they throw them away," the passionate vintage garment aficionado said, at her Clothes Library in the inner suburb of Potts Point.
"That's not how clothes are supposed to be designed. The clothes nowadays are manufactured for six wears, I think, which is terrible."
A booming part of the industry, including in Australia, is fast fashion, which quickly turns catwalk designs into apparel sold at low or ultra-low prices and easily accessible via online sites.
In Australia, where the demand for textiles is one of the highest per capita in the world, the fast fashion sector grew by 19.5 percent over five years to Aus$1.8 billion (US$1.4 billion) in 2017-18, research firm IBISWorld reported.