Second-hand clothes a first-class business
Fashion and design students at AUT will swap their sewing machines for sorting gloves this week.
They’re collecting a shipping container-load of secondclothes to be sold at the Big Clothes Swap tomorrow.
People have been asked to donate their good quality clothes which will be sold at 50c per item at the Hikuwai Plaza, at AUT’s Wellesley St campus.
AUT is hosting the mass swap to raise awareness about sustainable fashion habits, says fashion lecturer Kim Fraser.
Ms Fraser is studying fashion sustainability for her masters degree and hopes the clothes swap will draw attention to the amount of second-hand clothes we ship overseas.
She says the amount of clothing New Zealanders throw away every year would fill a skyscraper.
More than 90 percent go to Papua New Guinea where it is sold to make a profit, putting pressure on local textiles industries.
“This wonderful resource is getting sent off-shore,” says Ms Fraser.
She hopes the swap will encourage people to think about how much they buy and throw away.
“There’s a real cost to us as individuals, as Kiwis, to local businesses and to our environment.
“We think we’re doing really good by recycling but we’re just passing the problem on.”
She says the problem is made even worse by “fastfashion” chain stores which turn over their stock every few weeks.
Third-year fashion and design student Hannah McArdle is helping Ms Fraser organise the swap as part of her final year work placement.
The idea of sustainability also ties in with her clothing collection of jeans and organic tee shirts.
“This is the area of the fashion industry I want to get into,” says Miss McArdle.
She has taken on the task of sorting through clothes donated so far and recording the colour and fabric details of each item.
Donations of good condition clothing are still being taken for the swap, which starts at noon tomorrow. Donations can also be taken in on the day.
Any clothes not sold will go to the Lifewise charity, as will the money raised from the sale.
Swap meet: Fashion and design students, from left: Hannah McArdle and Sarah Kwok and lecturer Kim Fraser sort through clothes for tomorrow’s swap.