– Shopping here will help me feel good, says Mette, one of the inmates at Bredtveit Women’s Prison. (Photo: Silje Eide)
In the store “Pretty Woman” all clothes and shoes are free, and female inmates who do not own more than what they are wearing have got priority, but the store is open to all.
Bredtveit Women’s Prison in Oslo has opened the first clothing store in Norwegian history inside prison walls. The selection comes from the Salvation Army’s second hand stores Fretex.
The last five years employees regularly have brought clothes from Fretex into Bredtveit, which until now have been stored in a basement. The “new” clothes have been very welcome for female inmates.
– For a long period, there has been lack of system and order, and the clothes have been quite inaccessible, tells initiators and prison officers Gitte Garborg and Sandra Nilsen Kleivane to the Salvation Army’s magazine “Krigsropet” (The War Cry).
The inmates have painted, papered, added panel and fitted furniture in collaboration with Bredtveit Prison. The retro-inspired interior reminds of many other European secondhand stores.
Fretex provides clothing and shoes for free as part of the Salvation Army’s social work.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen