Brooke Jeffs and Madison Barton-Harris
The Griffith Clothing Library is set to unlock what will be the future of fashion.
Established in 2022 by Griffith University students Sophie Nakamura and Louise Hauser, the Clothing Library has since become a well-established service accessible to all on-campus community members.
The Clothing Library promotes the idea of making sustainable fashion choices through a hire, wear, and return service that allows students to borrow formal wear at no cost.
As the service has been found to be a great asset to student-life, there is a call for other universities to get on board with the idea.
As viable solutions are explored to address issues such as student equity, modern slavery, and the environmental repercussions of fast fashion, could a “clothing library” be the answer most universities are looking for?
Co-founder of the Griffith Clothing Library, Sophie Nakamura says that the project aims to tackle these concerns and start conversations.
“We’re trying to target the ethical standards of the fashion industry, raising awareness and providing an ethical alternative to fast fashion,” Ms. Nakamura said.
“We’re also trying to address the environmental side in the sense of providing somewhere for clothes to go aside from landfill or anywhere they might end up unloved and unused. Then we’re addressing the affordability side of the fashion industry, for university students who might not be able to afford the suit they need, we’re providing that free for them.”
Ms. Nakamura says that the Clothing Library is aiming to foster a sense of sharing and community amongst university staff and students.
“[The Clothing Library] is about, here’s our community, our volunteers help you out, you can help us back out by spreading the word and returning the clothes to us,” Ms. Nakamura said.
Co-founder of the Griffith Clothing Library Louise Hauser says that the idea was developed to address a problem by identifying a need and then presenting a solution.
Louise Hauser – Clothing Library co-founder
“It’s fulfilling a need – that is our purpose.”
“It’s looking around that community, we have students with no clothes, and we have staff who are throwing out clothes. Let’s be the conduit to collect them,” Ms. Hauser said.
Ms. Hauser says that services such as a “clothing library” raise awareness by encouraging staff and students to ask themselves if they could be making better, more sustainable choices.
“The opportunity is for them to be more mindful of how they reuse things. Why throw out something that’s still good when there’s other people who desperately need clothes?”
The Griffith Clothing Library now hosts over 100 garments suitable for all kinds of student-life activities such as graduation, work experience, and job interviews.
As demand for this service increases from students, it’s time for other universities to adopt the idea of a “clothing library” too.