Buy Pre-Loved for a Good Cause: An Interview with Kim Luu of the Flaunt Fashion Library

April 18, 2017

At Sympli we believe in smart, functional fashion that can be combined to provide endless wardrobe possibilities. The Flaunt Fashion Library in Vancouver recognises the struggle with staying on trend with new styles, and shopping sustainably. The solution: at their boutique you can rent new and gently used clothing to try out new looks while saving your extra cash to invest in lasting, timeless pieces. This April long weekend, The Flaunt Fashion Library participated in the Shop the Blogger Closet Sale to sell items from some of Vancouver’s most popular fashion bloggers’ closets and raise funds and awareness for the Because I Am A Girl cause. Here at Sympli, we are passionate about women’s empowerment, which is why we work closely with the Looking Glass Foundation charity to support women with eating disorders and body image issues. We were so excited to hear about this event that we decided to donate a couple outfits to be featured in the sale. We were also very lucky to have Kim Luu, the owner and founder of Flaunt Fashion Library, participate in a short interview with us.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what was your inspiration behind the Flaunt Fashion Library?
My name is Kim Luu and I am the owner and operator of Flaunt Fashion Library. I have a creative background in fashion but took a little break from the industry to stay at home with my 3 kids. Now I am back to change the way we, as consumers, get access to the latest looks.  
Flaunt Fashion Library is a dress rental studio offering a complete wardrobe for rent. That means you're able to rent a casual style for an office look or a designer dress for a special occasion. I was inspired to create this concept after realizing how much clothing I had and didn’t wear. I didn’t want to buy any more, and I decided I had to simplify my life and become a conscientious consumer.

Your upcoming Shop the Blogger Closet Sale will be working with Vancouver fashion bloggers, what inspired you to work within this community?
I had wanted to do a pre-loved clothing sale as a way to promote second-hand buying. Elizabeth Manuntag, the blogger behind The Style Saver approached me to collaborate on the sale and she brought on board a great group of bloggers.

How does your studio change the way women experience fashion?
The average women wears only 20% of her closet 80% of the time and she buys an average of 68 items a year. That's a lot of unnecessary waste. We give her the ability to rent dresses that she'll only wear once. Having saved money, she's able to invest in great pieces that'll last her for a long time instead of fast fashion that'll only last a few washes. She's also able to try out looks that she would never buy. Style without the commitment.

Proceeds from this event will be going towards the Because I am a Girl movement, why did you select this charity?
I was familiar with the charity since I've sponsored a girl from Plan Canada in the past.

What are your goals for this event, what sort of impact do you hope it might have?
We hope to encourage women to explore shopping second-hand, helping reduce the need to buy new clothing.

Do you plan on undertaking similar projects in the future?
We would love to! Right now we have a lot of other projects that we are exploring, so it’s a matter of seeing how those plans play out.

What, in your opinion, are some of the biggest challenges facing women in the modern world today?
Equality. In a modern society like ours, it's disheartening to still see women that are denied the same opportunities as men. I don't think that one gender has to lose for the other to win. It's definitely something to work on. We need to promote respect for everyone, starting at a young age.

How do you think fashion can work to support and grow the women’s empowerment movement?
Fashion is great since it exists as a common ground amongst women. They can use their platform to share knowledge and create social movements on topics like sustainability and body positivity.

Where do you think the fashion industry needs to improve when it comes to empowering women?
It would be fantastic to see a greater diversity in what is considered beautiful. The standards need to change, and show more realistic people. That being said, I do think we are seeing a shift as more consumers are demanding this. Brands are seeing positive reactions when they try to be more inclusive.

In your personal opinion, what do fashion brands, media, and social media need to do in order to help a future generation of women feel confident about their body image?
I think work needs to be done on all ends, from both brands and consumers. Brands, media and social media need to start connecting on a real level. Be human. Show us authentic people doing real things. Celebrate our differences. For consumers, I think we need to recognize that some standards are unrealistic, and that we’re not less worthy because we don't look like that. We need to find ways to feel confident without seeking some sort of superficial approval. Get to know who you are, and love that person.

To learn more, you can visit Because I am a girl or Flaunt Fashion Library.

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