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Youth clothing swap in Wallan diverts kilos from landfill

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By Max Davies

Mitchell Youth Council’s Clothes Swap Project culminated in an all-day event at Wallan last month.

The project was launched earlier this year in a bid to promote sustainable fashion practices and educate people about the negative environmental impacts of fast fashion – a term that refers to cheaply produced and priced clothing that is fast-tracked to stores.

Fast fashion companies encourage people to buy cheap new clothes to keep up with the latest trends, however they come at a high cost both ethically and environmentally.

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People were encouraged to swap clean, undamaged items of clothing they no longer wore, needed or wanted for new clothes at the May 15 event at Wallan Multi-Purpose Community Centre.

There were also sewing workshops to encourage people to reinvent unwanted clothes.

Mitchell Youth Mayor Thomas Starkey said the event was successful.

“We had a great response to the event, there was even a group of people waiting outside the hall before we opened the doors,” he said.

“We achieved our goal of promoting sustainable practices and engaging the community in conversations about sustainability and the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry.”

Mr Starkey said the outcome for the community was a significant factor in running the clothes swap event.

“We hope the clothes swap event has helped the community to understand the impacts of fast fashion on the environment. Plus, they now know how to repair, swap, recycle and upcycle their wardrobe to combat this issue, resulting a more sustainable approach to fashion within the community,” he said.

“Spreading awareness on the importance of sustainable fashion and the effects of climate change within the local community is very important.

“Young people in particular will feel the impacts of these issues within their lifetime, so we would like to raise as much awareness as possible to provide the best outcomes for our community and for our planet.”

The project was funded through a $9185 grant from the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning as part of the Community Mini-grant program.

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