Updated: Aug 9
The ABC’s War on Waste visited our Coburg studio recently to interview us about our work.
The popular show takes a hard look at waste and recycling in our communities, with a special focus on the impact of fashion on health and the environment this time around. "I think fashion continues to be one of the areas that shocks me the most," says host Craig Reucassel. "We've gone from fast fashion to now we have ultra-fast fashion." Read article here.
Repair and alterations
Second Stitch are fighting waste by mending clothes too. "Online organisations are pumping out an extraordinary amount of fashion at very cheap prices that's fossil fuel-based but predominantly plastic," says Craig.
"Over 60 per cent of our clothing is made from plastic and in Australia, we continue to buy more and more and wear it less and less and we need to do the exact opposite — we need to buy less and wear it for longer."
Our alterations and repair services breathe new life into textile products that are brought in by members of the Merribek community. This can range from shortening pants to repairing damaged or older sections of clothing. We also have alterations and repair partnerships with local organisations, like fashion designers SÜK and Nique workwear.
All our products are made by our seamstresses from upcycled textiles and textile waste.
Over our five years of operation, Second Stitch have made over 20,000 products from reimagined donated and upcycled materials that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Some of these products are sold at retail, and some serve are uniforms for workers like the clown doctors at the Humour Foundation. We also donate our textile off-cuts to organisations that can make use of it, creating a waste-free closed production loop.
Learn to mend
Craig also suggests ways you can contribute by taking matters into your own hands.
"A fun way to prolong the life of your clothes (and save money) is to learn new skills like mending and sewing. Hit up your grandparents or join one of the many mending classes popping up."
We can make a difference
Ultimately, says Craig, the decisions we make around our fashion have real impact on the world around us. "Whatever you're wearing, it has an environmental footprint, so buying less and wearing it often is the more sustainable option."
Second Stitch features in episode 3 of the third season of the hard-hitting series, which releases nationwide on ABC’s iView on 8 August. Head over to iview to watch the episode: https://iview.abc.net.au/show/war-on-waste
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