Wellington Curtain Bank, Sustainability Trust

The Curtain Bank. What a saviour for a city in denial about its latitude. Unless you’re a home owner in Wellington, its unlikely that your house is nicely insulated. The Curtain Bank provides good quality, lined curtains to those in need, helping to block out those fierce southerlies and keep energy bills down. It is situated at the Sustainability Trust, which has a lot of good stuff going on in its own right, so you should definitely get down there to check it out.

I was guided through the towering stacks of donated fabric by Lynley, before she joined machinists Juliet & Margaret as they got down to it. It was quite a peaceful, productive atmosphere until someone dropped a pin and the hunt got quite serious (it can be months before these are recovered from the debris on the grey floor). Don’t hold your breath, the pin was found in excellent time, and thank god because these ladies have a of cold houses to warm up!

Miranda is Healthy Homes Manager for the Curtain Bank and answered a few Q’s I had.

How did these legends learn to sew?
We have many sewers in the curtain bank – one part time paid employee and about 6 volunteers. Some learned at home, some as part of their schooling and some through friends and other educational organisations.

How many houses do you donate curtains to each week?
600 per year and about 15 – 20 per week

Where does most of the material come from?
Donations from people & businesses in the greater Wellington area; people who are upgrading their own curtains

Why are curtains so important to homes?
The main reason we provide curtains is to improve the thermal insulation at the windows to help keep houses warmer and more energy efficient. Also, curtains help with privacy and making the house into a home.

How did this initiative start?
It started back in 2010. We knew that many families were struggling to keep warm in homes that didn’t have curtains. The other great thing about that Curtain Bank is that it also helps divert old curtains from the landfill, giving them a new life.

Don’t forget you can help out!