Tag Archives: Brisbane City Council

Revive style for planetary health

To the best of my knowledge, Brisbane is the first city in the world to host a pop-up secondhand fashion festival as a waste minimization strategy. I (Jane Milburn) have checked with New York refashion academic Sass Brown and Sass knows of no other.  Do tell if you believe otherwise.

Stiltwalkers showcase refashion at the 2016 Revive event in the heart of Brisbane. Photo by Brisbane City Council

Stiltwalkers showcase refashion at the 2016 Revive event in the heart of Brisbane. Photo by Brisbane City Council

Revive is in its second year and pops up again on 18 August 2017 at South Bank Forecourt from noon to 9pm. Hats off to Brisbane City Council, Cr Peter Matic and Cr David McLachlan for leadership. With textiles being one of the fastest growing domestic waste streams, fueled by fast-fashion turnover, I am proud to have been in the room at its conception.

The advent of Revive followed an opportunity I was granted to address a council meeting on a matter of public importance.  Here’s the link to my 2015 address (including Hansard pdf) when I spoke of the need to develop a more sustainable clothing culture. Revive is a huge step in this direction.

Infinite consumption in a finite world is unsustainable, in our hearts we all know that. That’s why reviving existing resources – including perfectly good clothing that needs a new body to enjoy it – is central to ensuring planetary health.

Revive is thriving this year with the introduction of a conversation tent, refashion workshops run by QUT and Reverse Garbage Queensland, a clothing story board and the Beaudesert Collection of treasured garments from earlier times. The major opshops will be there presenting unique and individual alternatives to fast fashion, with revivalist styling parades curated by Faye Delanty in collaboration with The Salvos. There’s food trucks and other entertainment too. The event is free and coincides with National Op Shop Week.

I’m dressing the stiltwalkers in natural-fibre refashions (see photos from last year below) and will be in the conversation tent at 4pm for 30 minutes, along with lots of other voices now speaking out about sustainable clothing.

You can book into free Clothing Repair Café and Clothing Revival workshop sessions at Brisbane Square Library which I’ll be running next week on behalf of Revive on August 23 and 24. Call 3403 4166 to secure a spot.  #ReviveBNE

Stiltwalkers in Textile Beat refashion at Revive 2016, photos by Brisbane City Council

Stiltwalkers showcase Textile Beat refashions at Revive 2016,  Photos by Brisbane City Council

Revive 2016 at South Bank in Brisbane, celebrating secondhand fashion as a sustainable way to dress for planetary health

Revive 2016 at South Bank in Brisbane, celebrating preloved as a sustainable choice for planetary health

Jane Milburn of Textile Beat at Revive 2016, with MC Carlie Wacker and Cr Peter Matic. Photos by Darcy Milburn

Jane Milburn of Textile Beat at Revive 2016, with MC Carlie Wacker and Cr Peter Matic. Photos by Darcy Milburn

Aussies send 85% of textiles to landfill

Australians buy an average of 27 kilograms of new textiles each year and then discard about 23 kilograms* into landfill  – and two-thirds of those discards are manmade synthetic/plastic fibres that may never breakdown.

Sustainability consultant Jane Milburn said Australians are the second-largest consumers of new textiles after north Americans who annually buy 37kg each, and ahead of Western Europeans at 22kg while consumption in Africa, the Middle East and India averages just 5 kg per person. These figures are sourced from north American magazine Textile World.

Textile World graphic of per capita consumption

“There’s been a transformational shift in the way we source, use and discard our clothing which has major social and environmental implications. Fast fashion produced from global supply chains is driving purchasing of excessive new clothing, often discarded after a few wears,” Ms Milburn said.

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Grow a sustainable clothing culture

Jane Milburn outside Brisbane City HallJane Milburn spoke on a matter of public importance at the November 24 meeting of Brisbane City Council: (download Minutes or read speech and response_24_nov_2015)

“In the same way we’ve become aware of our food – we are becoming more conscious of our clothing.

Today you are either wearing natural-fibres – or synthetic fibres derived from petroleum. I’m wearing a shift created with rescued wool suits that were one step away from becoming landfill. As a natural-fibre champion with a background in issues-based communication, I am seeking to help create a more sustainable clothing culture.

Thank you for this opportunity to raise the matter at this Brisbane City Council meeting.The past decade has seen a transformational shift in where and how our clothing is made – which raises ethical issues such as:

  1. Consumption increase – in two decades, individual annual fibre use across the globe has doubled from 7 to 13 kg each
  1. Fibre change – a decade ago, half of new clothes were natural fibres and half synthetics. Now 2/3 of new clothing are synthetic – and research shows they shed microplastic particles with every wash.

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