Our Plastic Free July event held last Saturday, REthink Fabric Waste, (6000kgs a minute goes to landfill of which 60% is plastic) demonstrated strong local interest in both learning how to Upcycle waste fabric as well as an appetite to buy locally hand made Upcycled products.

Mullum Cares founder, Sasha Mainsbridge, “Organising this event has been an incredible discovery of the wealth of local talent in our region. Combine this wealth of Maker talent with our crazy waste volumes and we quickly devised and soft launched our latest project, Salvage Culture”

Salvage Culture is a circular economy incubator that provides a platform for local upcyclers to advertise their wares as well as providing educational opportunities for locals to learn how to Upcyle materials into products they can sell to increase their income. “We have Master Seamstresses ready to teach and are looking for upcyclers of other waste streams to get in touch. We have funding to pay our teachers ethically for their time and we’re particularly keen to run workshops for young people”.


With Master Makers including Australian fashion legend, Jenny Bannister, joining the team, Salvage Culture is set to become a go to market place for quality up cycled pieces.  Here are a handful of Jenny’s latest creations.

Salvage Culture will be an online and physical shop for local Makers to sell their up cycled wares. It will also act as an incubator for start-up upcyclers. When Covid restrictions ease, the founding team of Master Makers will begin a program for locals to learn how to upcycle fabric waste. Our Library of Stuff will build its assets to support the needs of delivering lessons and then offer the items to students to borrow in between classes.

We’re starting with fabric waste because it’s so abundant, easy to sanitise and the tools required to upcycle it are pretty basic. The vision though, is to introduce other waste materials as Master Makers come to us and demonstrate their skills upcycling the waste they work with into items our community will want to buy and/or learn how to make themselves. The waste must be rescued from Northern Rivers waste streams and the finished products must contain a minimum of 50% waste materials.

Our Reverse Garbage enterprise will grow organically as we source the materials our Makers, Teachers and Students need. Then we will test out other waste items to see if the broader community has an appetite to purchase.

We have significant funding on the table and hope to prioritise this for paying our teachers an ethical wage for their time and creating a kick arse website for sales and educational bookings. We need somewhere to host our Reverse Garbage and Salvage Culture Workshop and Outlet so we’re making inquiries with Council and others for a subsidised space. This integrated operation will be a waste & emissions busting powerhouse that we believe will garner broad support.

It won’t all be highbrow making though.  Basic skills that anyone can attempt that will help all of us pledge to never again send fabric to landfill will also be the subject of Salvage Culture education.  Like this little gem by Jenny outside the Library of Stuff at the Mullum Scout Hall recently.

If you’re an experienced Maker keen to advertise your up cycled wares and/or teach please get in touch via the Salvage Culture Fb page or email us at salvageculturecontact at gmail dot com.

If you have ideas on where we can set up these enterprises in the Byron Shire please get in touch via mullumcares at gmail dot com:) We’re also looking for more hands to bring this vision to life so if you’re as excited by these projects as us and have some time and skills to offer please also contact Sasha via the mullumcares gmail address.