On a recent ABC TV program, ‘The War on Waste’, we were shown an enormous pile of clothing in a Melbourne mall.
It represented a small sample of the 6000kg of clothing that goes to landfill in Australia every 10 minutes.
Even in our tiny Esperance, several skip bins of clothing waste are sent to our local tip from op shops every week!
These horrifying statistics should make us think about how we can help.
A number of local creative initiatives are responding to this situation.
The Rags to Riches project, coordinated by IsaDora Designs, is inspiring us to take up the challenge of creating something new with fabric which would otherwise be destined for the tip.
Boomerang Bags Esperance are also doing their bit to reduce fabric waste. They have a target of creating 1000 handmade bags, which will placed at a local supermarket to be borrowed, returned and reused.
Recently, Esperance Community Arts held a workshop called 'Restyle Your Threads', where people came with a garment to remake, mend, or cut up to make something entirely different.
This was a huge success so a second restyling session is scheduled for Saturday March 17.
Esperance Care Services run periodic workshops to teach people how to repurpose and make use of items which are considered waste.
Another idea is to join the 'Clothes Exchange Esperance' group on Facebook.
Our three local op shops offer many goods at incredibly cheap prices. By donating and purchasing second-hand items, you will be helping these charities, which in turn help people in need.
However, op shops everywhere are finding it difficult to deal with all the items they can’t sell.
Huge amounts of un-saleable items must be thrown out, and the charities bear most of this cost themselves.
Even though we are tempted to buy cheap clothing, it is helpful to consider what happens when it’s no longer needed.
In reality, how long will it last?
Is it just for one occasion or will you get good use from it?
It all boils down to taking responsibility for whatever we purchase, and what we do with it when it’s no longer required.
I urge everyone to get on board and become more aware of the waste you are generating.