The next organisation in the spotlight is St Vincent de Paul on Urana Road, Lavington. The manager, Guy, was happy to talk to Halve Waste about their new re/CYCLE program, and how it has helped their organisation to reduce waste.

Image above: Trudy Walsh from Vinnies Lavington with the re/CYCLE range which is made from donated items that can’t be sold and is now available at the op-shop. Picture: MARK JESSER The Border Mail

Can you please tell us about the re/CYCLE program? 

Nationally, we were getting clothing donations that were in poor condition and not fit for salemeaning that they had to go to landfill. We as a company wanted to divert this type of textile waste from landfill so we created the re/CYCLE program. We collect the materials that are not fit for resale and send them to our overseas partners. They are then recycled into new products and sent back to Australia to be sold in store. 

What incredible products are made from our old textiles and where can we purchase these? 

Blankets, throws, rugs, tea towels, beach towels and cushions are all made from 100% recycled donated textiles. These items can be purchased from our Lavington Store, which is currently one of only four participating Vinnies stores in NSW. Not only does this mean that less waste ends up in landfill, it also enables Vinnies to help those in our community who need it the most.  

How much textile waste gets disposed of every year? 

The fast-pace nature of fashion means that nearly 6,000kgs of clothing and textile waste gets buried in landfill every 10 minutes. Globally, 11.4 million tonnes of textile waste goes to landfill every year, making fast-fashion a huge problem.

What can people do to reduce their fashion footprint? 

One thing that everyone can do is to shop second hand rather than always buying brand new items. Buying new items all the time is contributing to a throwaway society and is a very linear way of looking at our waste. By buying second-hand items, and items that are made out of recyclable materials, we can close the loop and contribute to a circular economy. This helps Vinnies raise money for people who need it, while also helping to reduce fashion and textile waste from landfill.  

Residents keen to recycle not fit for sale materials can also drop off 10kg bags marked not fit for sale to our Lavington Store during business hours, and we will commit to recycling these items.

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