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Saturday, 21 September 2019

Intercept Fabric Rescue

Design on an upcycled denim jacket by fabric artist Jenny Hill - Intercept instigator

Some weeks back I was approached by Jenny with the idea of rescuing some of the fabric that is going to the landfill from one of our big op shops (thrift store). 
The manager has told her that $60,000 dollars per year is spent on dumping fees by this store alone. They currently send a skip to the landfill every 2 days - most of it textiles. Apparently out of what is donated - 20% is saleable, the remaining 80% goes to the tip.
So, four of us have started Intercept - Fabric Rescue, earmarking salvaged textiles for various places and uses. These include:

Local designers using upcycled materials, such as Shelly from Ano - anoagainreuse, who mostly works in denim. 

Anoagainreuse models out shopping before a recent fashion show.

Making t-shirt bags for the store to use out of what they were throwing away.
Making t-shirt yarn for crafters to buy, plus hopefully fabric bundles for quilters etc.
Removing graphics to reuse in upcycled projects.
Saving all wool, silk, cotton, denim for reuse.
Saving what we can of synthetics to make bunting.

Rescued t-shirts made into yarn and reusable bags. Saving graphics.


The store have started making rags again - which they had stopped. They have given us a room to work from and are very supportive. 

We have big plans to promote the work of makers using Intercept fabrics, plus we have  local Design School students working on swing tags and labels for us, that use rescued materials.

It's all very new at the moment and still a work in progress, but such a great opportunity to make a difference.
Thanks to movements like the Climate Strikes, many businesses are seeing that the way forward involves a lot more consideration of the environment. They need to be seen as making positive changes. 
Now is a great time to start.

2 comments:

  1. How absolutely wonderful! Those statistics are mind-boggling. How can a charity shop even stay in business with expenses like that disposal fee??! The denim clothing recycles are so interesting, especially that skirt, which is amazing.
    I had a charity shop near my house that allowed me to go through their rejects box and take what i wanted free for art projects. I haven’t approached them again because I still have lots left. You’ve inspired me to try some of the t-shirt bags, especially if I could find some fun quirky shirts.

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    Replies
    1. I love how we inspire each other Cynthia. It's great that your local shop allowed you to do that as many would rather throw stuff away than let people take what is unwanted. Time for that to change!

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