8 Aug, 2022
Opportunity shops and second-hand goods play an essential role in the community to ensure items can be reused and upcycled rather than wasted. With textile waste being one of New Zealand’s fastest growing waste streams with more than 220,000 tons ending up in landfills each year, it’s important that people become educated about purchasing clothes mindfully and gifting only good quality clothes to op shops, Sustainable Kaipara director Sarah Bray says.
“Clothing and textiles are a high-volume item which can overwhelm the capacity and storage space of second-hand shops,” she says. “We want to shed light on this issue, to get our community thinking about what they buy in the first place and then to support the Mangawhai Factory to reduce what they send to landfill by helping them receive good quality donations.”
Each year opportunity shops are faced with sending large amounts of unsaleable items to landfill which is a huge cost to these organisations.
“Opportunity shops don’t usually have the ability and resources to repair items but owners could get this done before donating them, which would save them ending up in landfill.”
Top tips for getting away from the ‘fast-fashion’ trap include: Look for brands whose supply chains are transparent and traceable; Buy second hand; Shop your wardrobe! The most sustainable garment is the one you already have – wear it.
More information can be found at The Factory and on Sustainable Kaipara’s A-Z online waste and recycling guide, which shows what can be done with items, including broken whiteware, e-waste and expired car seats.
The Factory supervisor, Eva Rapp, says donations are invaluable as ‘they allow us to give back to the Mangawhai community’.
“Good quality, clean items are fantastic, however many items we receive can’t be sold but could have been recycled or repaired by their owners. That’s why we are working on this campaign with Sustainable Kaipara.”
Sustainable Kaipara is a community organisation dedicated to improving and restoring Kaipara’s environment. They are supported by the Ministry for the Environment and the Kaipara District Council. Their work currently focuses on closing the loop on resources by supporting waste diversion and composting. Get in touch if you need support to reduce waste or if you’d like to join the community compost service (for Mangawhai townships only at the moment).
Girls Brigaders, who were recently in Mangawhai to attend a leadership camp, put their hand up to help Sustainable Kaipara to sort and categorise excess clothing donated to Mangawhai Opportunity Factory, and learnt a few things about fast-fashion and what should be given to second-hand shops. The sorted clothing will be distributed by other hard-working volunteers to the community or donated to Women's Refuge. PHOTO/SUPPLIED