June 28, 2020

This Plastic Free July – Think & then REthink Fabric Waste

This Plastic Free July we are moving beyond the usual single use plastics and shining a light on another source of plastic that we invite into our homes and later discard – at an increasingly alarming rate; fabric.

Our PFJ campaign aims to inspire our community to stop wasting their unwanted fabric and instead explore exciting ways to reimagine and repurpose these materials that are effectively free!

Plastic Free July is celebrating it’s 10th year and founder Rebecca Prince-Ruiz has co authored a book, Plastic Free, about the history of the campaign and why she believes it’s captured the hearts and minds of so many people all over the world (last year over 250 000 000 people signed up to take the Plastic Free July challenge!!!). Here’s Rebecca recently interviewed on ABC Radio National. What resonates with us in this clip are her comments that PFJ appeals to people eager to ‘do’ something as individuals and also the favourable conditions it seems to create that enables groups of friends, colleagues and even strangers connecting via social media to make a change together in a non judgmental setting.

We are super excited to be recognised in the book as a town that collectively steps up each July and the team here at Mullum Cares loves planning and delivering waste reducing campaigns but we’re a little sick of reminding cafes that plastic straws are sooo yesterday!

You’ve got your ‘no straw please’ down pat, carry a reusable water bottle and a keep cup. Tick! Eating-in rather than getting take away removes the need for take away containers (all Covid sins are forgiven but it’s time to kick the take away container habit again!).

When you see single use plastics still in supply in pubs, cafes or restaurants keep having a friendly chat and ask the staff member to pass on to the boss that customers would be really impressed if these items were removed for good:) “Especially considering it’s Plastic Free July!”

Keep bringing it! Always with a smile:)

We feel confident our community no longer needs us to help them ditch single use plastics and any laggard businesses can seek support from the council funded Plastic Free Byron “Make the Switch” program.  Check out the det’s at and pass on the website address to businesses in need!  

THINK Fabric Waste! 6,000 kilograms every 10 minutes*

We all know that op shops are overflowing but have we really thought about all the waste fabric that isn’t good enough to be resold? Where is it going?

It’s likely you haven’t really thought about it, like the majority of us. We know our op shops are completely overwhelmed but it’s hard to quell that feel good factor when you drop off a bag of near new or cool branded clothes at your local op shop that just made room in your wardrobe for something new (whether it be virgin or second hand). What about when garments, cushions, doonas, pillows, towels, bedding, curtains, carpet and furniture covered in fabric (mattresses, couches etc) are no longer in a re-saleable state?

We’ve spoken to a handful of our local op shops and been shocked by the common report that large volumes of unsaleable garments, bedding and soft home furnishings are regularly being ‘donated’.

We wonder if our communities increased aversion to throwing things ‘away’ is actually exacerbating the incidence of unsaleable textile items being ‘donated’ to op shops?

THINK Fabric Waste : Sat 18th

We’re introducing an Annual Lecture to our Plastic Free July effort. It will be streamed live on Facebook at 1pm July 18 with special guests and followed by a clothes swap from 2-4pm. Use this link to register your interest if you’d like to attend in person as spots will be significantly restricted by Covid. Location is the Mullum Scout Hall. Please bring any clean waste fabric you would like to donate – especially denim and hi vis fabric.

July 25 : REthink Fabric Waste Workshops & Online Resources Launch

From 1-4pm on Sat July 25 we will have upstairs and downstairs at the Scout Hall set up with demonstration stations with our team of creative vollies on duty to walk you through their up cycling projects. Patterns for each project will be available to take home or download from the new online resources that will be published on a dedicated REthink Fabric Waste page on the Mullum Cares website. Again, if you’re keen to attend on the day in person please register to secure a spot via this link to the Fb event.

Here are some examples of what you can make out of fabric waste! Share any ideas you have!!

* Statistic taken from article titled “What if we could re-design everything from scratch? #waronwaste” on called Truely Deeply blog written by Gemma Dittmar date unknown.