Words & photo: Geoff Lewis

Sarah Wolf has an ideal – to offer women the opportunity to obtain clothing in a way that is ethically justifiable and environmentally sustainable.

Originally from Ireland, Sarah works for the Waikato Environment Centre and has a background in marketing and communications, particularly in the not-for-profit sector.

”Much of our clothing is made by people working in poor conditions, who are paid very little, in countries where there are few protections for workers’ rights. Fashion should be fun but not at the cost of the environment or people’s lives. I ask people to consider where their clothes come from and I want to make ethical and sustainable clothing more accessible,” she said.

So, with this in mind, Sarah has established the Carousel: Clothing Library. Members pay a monthly subscription and choose the outfits they like. The range will include styles to suit different sizes and tastes with both high quality vintage and new.

The library aims to support home-grown talent by working with local producers in an ethical and sustainable way. The library will make these brands, which carry a higher price tag, more accessible, opening them up to new audiences.

”The mission is to create an alternative consumption model, which promotes a more efficient use of clothing, lowering the environmental footprint of clothing manufacturing and consumption.”

Carousel is interested in hearing from labels or individuals who might like to partner with the project and is also calling for members and donations of clothing.

In addition to the library, Carousel aims to educate on sustainable consumption, host craft workshops to teach skills like mending, sewing and knitting, while also providing a community space for people to spend time.

The aim is to have Carousel: Clothes Library ready to present to the public as part of the Waikato Show’s Te Papanui Earth Matters environmental section, which can be seen at the Claudelands Events Centre, April 7-9 2017.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Carousel: Clothes Library, or donating garments, can contact Sarah Wolf 021 0236 0287 or sarah@carousellibrary.co.nz

Photo caption: Carousel: Clothes Library model, Tiff Clayton