Clothing Libraries: Another Product Service System
We love libraries here at TreeHugger. They're a perfect example of a Product Service System (PSS) where you get the service of an item without having to own it and all the cost and upkeep time that requires. In the past we've discussed Toy Libraries and Tool Libraries. But it seems we've forgotten to mention Clothing Libraries.
The ones I'm familiar with are like the Belmont Clothes Library in Western Australia. A volunteer run organisation with over 1,500 fashion garments on its books it loans out, for free, male and female apparel to unemployed people, so they can look smart for crucial job interviews. We were reminded of this when reader Joe F. left a message on our Q&A; post on Green Business Suits. Joe is offering his collection of pre-loved business suits to a worthy organisation, like Belmont. Anyone know of something similar in the USA that Joe can donate his suits to?
Belmont also worked with a men's retail chain, Worth's Menswear, who helped the library through a scheme "whereby customers buying suits from its stores were offered a $ 50 trade-in on an old suit that had been dry cleaned." These trade-ins were then donated to the library. For other clothing libraries, elsewhere in Australia, have a look at their list.
Also of interest in this vein is the Maternity Clothes Library run by the La Leche League in the UK. For a tiny fee of about £2 expecting mothers can borrow maternity clothes for the duration of the pregnancy. They too would welcome benefactors willing to donate their oversized 'bump' clothing, no longer in use.