Sec­ond-hand clothes first-class idea

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

Trade preloved items from your wardrobe for some new threads at a com­mu­nity clothes swap.

Or­gan­is­ers Rose Hope and Sarah Firm­ston are hop­ing a lit­tle trawl through the swap’s cloth­ing racks will go a long way to help­ing con­sumers think more about where their clothes come from.

The event will also help to raise funds for those af­fected by the earth­quake in Nepal.

‘‘What we want to pro­mote is that peo­ple are be­com­ing more thought­ful with their clothes and we like the sense of com­mu­nity that th­ese kinds of events bring,’’ Hope says.

The two founders of Karanga­hape Rd bou­tique The Bread and But­ter Let­ter have no­ticed an in­creas­ing num­ber of cus­tomers stress­ing the im­por­tance of know­ing where an item was made and the work­ing con­di­tions it was made un­der, she says.

‘‘Now peo­ple are buy­ing con­sciously and we’re get­ting asked ev­ery day: ‘Tell me about the artists be­hind this’. They need to know the story,’’ Hope says.

‘‘There is a story be­hind ev­ery­thing – and with sec­ond-hand or hand-made items it’s a more per­sonal way of shop­ping.’’

The clothes swap is an ex­ten­sion of that phi­los­o­phy, she says.

Shop­pers are asked to bring the best of the clothes and ac­ces­sories they no longer wear and in re­turn they can take home as many items as they do­nate.

Any left­over items will be do­nated to K Rd’s The Koha Shed which of­fers ne­ces­si­ties for free to those in fi­nan­cial hard­ship.

Hope and Firm­ston have been over­whelmed by the pos­i­tive re­sponse to the swap.

The cre­ative duo were ex­pect­ing to host about 30 shop­pers in their store but have now had to shift to a big­ger venue with hun­dreds ex­pected to show.

Firm­ston says it’s tes­ta­ment to the aware­ness con­sumers have that they are able to en­act pos­i­tive change with the choices they make.

‘‘We’re both avid op-shop­pers, we’ve both done it our en­tire lives.

‘‘It just stems from our own in­ter­est and it’s just turned out that so many other peo­ple are in­ter­ested as well,’’ Firm­ston says.

The event will be held at the Pitt Street Methodist Church, 78 Pitt St.

Doors open from 6pm with en­ter­tain­ment to al­low time for vol­un­teers to sort the clothes and the swap­ping kicks off at 7pm on May 20.

Gold coin do­na­tion on en­try.

Photo: JESS LEE

The Bread & But­ter Let­ter bou­tique founders Rose Hope and Sarah Firm­ston are or­gan­is­ing a com­mu­nity clothes swap.

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