Start-up in Birmingham Fosters Sustainable Fashion and Small Businesses

Milagros “Mira” de Souza, a resident and entrepreneur of Birmingham, has launched The Clothing Library in 2022, a clothing rental subscription service that aims to change the way fashion is consumed. The service utilizes used clothing that is purchased from local vendors, promoting sustainability and reducing waste. De Souza is a part of Birmingham’s Ventures for America division, which is a two-year fellowship program designed to promote entrepreneurship through a network of investors and industry professionals.

De Souza is a Duke University graduate with a degree focused on sustainable fashion. During her studies, she created her major to study the impact of sustainable fashion on society and explored accessibility issues in the sustainable fashion industry. She is passionate about making sustainable fashion accessible and believes that it is not always the first choice.

Sustainable fashion has a positive impact on the environment, the maker, and sometimes, even on one’s wallet, but it is often less accessible. To combat this issue, The Clothing Library sources products from local second-hand resellers, thrift shops, and consignment shops, rather than starting with new products and becoming second-hand through the rental process. De Souza has confirmed partnerships with Birmingham’s D’Trespa Consignment & Vintage Boutique and Quake Plus size resale.

The Clothing Library not only aims to change the way fashion is consumed but also helps small businesses. By partnering with local vendors, the business provides a passive income to vendors, allowing them to grow their business without being constrained by markets or finances. The service offers a fast fashion solution while promoting sustainability and supporting the local community.

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