Tag Archives: Reverse Garbage Queensland

Helping divert textiles from landfill

Textiles are the biggest product segment at Reverse Garbage Queensland, prompting the launch of Worn OUT as an exhibition to celebrate refashion and creative upcycling.

To be held at the RGQ warehouse in Woolloongabba on October 28, Worn OUT will showcase more than 50 refashioned garments made by a dozen creatives from around Australia.

Coordinator Bill Ennals said textiles had easily become RGQ’s fastest-growing segment in the past few years with local businesses diverting excess stock to the warehouse for resale rather than sending it to landfill.

Elizabeth Kingston and Jane Milburn“Textiles have become our biggest selling item and our clientele are really engaging around creative ways to reuse fibres and fabrics – more so than other segments we stock which include timber, metal, plastic, glass, containers, ceramics, paper and card,” Bill said.

Worn OUT is co-curated by Australian refashion pioneer and sustainability consultant Jane Milburn of Textile Beat (above right) who for the past five years has been raising awareness of creative ways to reuse clothing and textiles to keep them out of landfill.

“This is an exciting opportunity to nurture an upcycling culture that enables makers to explore their creativity in unique, empowering, and affordable ways – there are no rules or limits with refashion and the big bonus is that reusing textiles is sustainable and ethical too,” Jane said.

“Refashion is playful yet disruptive storytelling using pre-loved and salvaged materials. It carries an environmental message about the finite nature of Earth’s precious resources and demonstrates how individuals can make a difference through what we wear.

Worn Out poster

“Australians are the second-largest consumers of new textiles in the world and absorbed 27 kilograms each in 2015. We are also throwing a lot away, with the ABC’s War on Waste team estimating 6000 kg of clothing and textiles are being sent to landfill every 10 minutes.”

Co-curator Elizabeth Kingston (above left) brings a wealth of design and styling experience to Worn OUT with her textile and teaching background, and former fashion design label, now being applied and shared through the Instagram platform as @timeless_styling.

“Every day is a new opportunity to create when we bring together textures, colours and shapes in creative ways and reinvent them as refashion,” Elizabeth said.

In addition to refashion, Worn OUT includes a Cosplay showcase, curated by Jillian Rose. All garments, costumes and accessories featured in the exhibition will use a minimum 75 per cent ‘non-new’ materials.

The exhibition will be launched with a free opening event Saturday 28 October featuring various runway shows from 7-9.30pm at RGQ’s Woolloongabba warehouse, where food and beverages will be available for purchase. A static display of selected Refashion garments, Cosplay outfits and accessories will continue the following week in RGQ’s upcycled gift shop, Reverse Emporium.

Contact exhibition co-ordinator Bill Ennals wornout@reversegarbageqld.com.au  07 3891 9744 or 0402 499 225, or co-curator Jane Milburn on 0408 787 964

Revive style for planetary health

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

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, fuelled by fast-fashion turnover, I am proud to have been in the room at its conception. Thank you to Cr Matic for acknowledging my contribution.

The advent of Revive followed a 2015 opportunity I had 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.  Continue reading

Mendful, mindful, meaning in stitches

Mended garments carry a story of care. They reflect the triumph of imperfection over pretension while the act of mending itself brings transformation in both mender and mended.

By embracing repair as a valid and useful act we, the menders, are stitching new life-energy into something others step over in the scrabble onwards and upwards. To pause, apply creative problem-solving and add a mark of care to our clothes, we extend their life and bring meaning to our own.

The clothes we wear are a statement of values. We may go through stages of searching for newer, sharper images and think clothes, like makeup and leopard spots, can camouflage and attract the right sort of attention. Alas, the pipe dream.  Continue reading