by Marloes van Raamsdonk of Lena Library
According to an article in the Daily Mail from 2011, the average woman has 22 garments hanging in her wardrobe she has never worn. Does this stop us from shopping till we drop? Apparently not. Seventy percent of Dutch women buy something they never wear every month. But what about the clothes which are never even sold? 21.5 billion garments were manufactured in 2015 but never sold, resulting in 1.2 billion brand-new items being destroyed. Only 35% of our textile waste can be recycled. What happens to the other 65%? Well, a garbage truckload of clothes is dumped or burned every second. Shocking, right?
Nowadays, we can’t ignore the downside of fashion anymore. We’ve probably all read articles on the topic or saw an item on the news regarding the poor working conditions in sweatshops. While we proudly wear our latest outfit, on the other side of the world men, women and even young children work long hours for less than nothing. Is it really worth another person’s life to look good? Imagine your kid sewing buttons onto cute summer dresses. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there: think about the environment. Research done by National Geographic shows it takes 2,700 liters of water to produce one cotton t-shirt, which is enough water for one person to drink for 2.5 years.
The infinite wardrobe.
At LENA we don’t want to make you feel bad about wearing or buying clothes. On the contrary, we would like to show you ways to enjoy fashion AND be sustainable. Borrowing clothes means endless experimenting with style, shapes, and colors: mix and match to the max. You will always have something new in your closet. Imagine, summer starts and all you have to do is returning your winter items to LENA without the need to store them at home. Let’s be honest, houses in Amsterdam are tiny compared to the U.S.: why waste space on clothes we don’t wear?
Dreaming of a green future.
We want to make a change. Our first priority is to create more awareness and to lengthen the lifecycle of clothes. But we won’t stop there, we believe in thinking big, and we want to change the system. We aim for a world without waste, a world without scarcity: a circular fashion system. LENA library is our first step towards a greener future, but eventually, we want to be the sustainable link between fashion brands and providers of raw material. Worn-out garments CAN be recycled into new quality products without using virgin resources. We want to make that happen.
Fashion-forward, according to LENA:
- Wearing beautiful clothes in a conscious and sustainable way.
- A wide range of choice without an enormous walk-in closet full of clothes we never wear.
- The excitement of new garments without feeling the need to own them.
- Say NO to fast fashion or bulging closets and still look AWESOME.
- We believe ethics and aesthetics go hand-in-hand.
Meet the girl bosses.
Four business-savvy women — three sisters, and an "adopted sister" — are ready to change the world of fashion. Open minds and tons of creativity lead to this first fashion library of the Netherlands and three years later it’s still a success. Due to their background in the fashion industry, they know exactly what could be done better. LENA wants to make fashion fun for everyone involved.
LENA & you.
Do you have garments you no longer wear but don’t know what to do with? We would be very pleased if you would donate these items to our library. Your clothes deserve a new life: karma points, guaranteed. Any ideas on sustainable fashion, entrepreneurship or business opportunities for LENA? We are very much interested in your input, so pass by our store for a chat and a cup of coffee. Together we can do more!
Would you like to know more about us? Take a look at our website www.lena-library.com (sorry, Dutch only).