Managing waste wisely

War on wardrobe waste doesn’t have to be a battle

Kids go through clothes fast. It seems like it only takes a minute before the perfectly good clothes you just bought are too small, torn, missing buttons or simply no longer wanted. For time-poor parents, it’s tempting to just put the unwanted items in the bin and pop to the shops once more.

But this linear model of take-make-waste is having dire consequences for the environment, as brought to light by the recent episodes of ABC’s The War on Waste. Australians are sending huge quantities of wearable clothes to landfill every year. It’s especially worrying as more than 60 per cent of today’s clothing is made of plastic, meaning items can sit in landfill for hundreds of years, or even end up in our bodies in the form of microplastics.

To decrease the impact of constant clothes shopping we urgently need to move towards a circular economy.

That’s less buying new, and more repairing, reusing, gifting, lending and sourcing second-hand.

The WMRC has teamed up with local initiative Repair Lab to make it easy to swap, share and repair, all in one place.

“The first step to addressing textile waste is simply to buy less new stuff,” said the WMRC’s Libby Eustance.

“An easy solution is simply to make the clothes you’ve already got fulfill their potential. So often, quality kids’ clothes get discarded because they’ve been outgrown or just need basic repairs.”

“We’re excited to be partnering with Repair Lab, whose philosophy is not only preventing waste but also helping attendees learn new skills that will save them money.”

The WMRC’s free Kids’ Wardrobe Refreshes are the perfect place to start your reuse journey.

And there are plenty of clothes, shoes and accessories to choose from – at their last event, the WMRC collected 375kg of quality kids’ clothing, of which 335kg (89%) was snapped up by attendees and given a second life.

The WMRC also runs clothing swaps for adults throughout the year.

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