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.
At the RGQ warehouse in Woolloongabba on October 28, Worn OUT showcased 35 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.
“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 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.
“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 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 included 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.