Closing the loop on textile trash

If you’re an average Aussie chances are you discard 23kg of clothing annually. This contributes to six tonnes of textiles heading to Australian landfills every 10 minutes.

Landfill is where we send most of our rubbish; Australia depends strongly on it for waste management. Mostly clustered around capital cities there are 600 official landfill sites in Australia, which take some 20 million tonnes of rubbish a year.

It’s not all doom and gloom though!

There are 800+ pro-active pockets of individuals, mostly women, sprinkled throughout communities across Australia (and the globe) and they go by the name Boomerang Bags.

Seaside Scavenge had the privilege to collaborate with the legendary ladies from the Inner West Boomerang Bags Group recently. This group upcycled our pre-loved clothes, that had not found a home at our events, into the funkiest of reusable bags.

That’s right, this creative crew turned worn jeans, old work shirts, linen pants and cotton singlets into unique handbags, grocery bags, satchels and bumbags. They decorated them with love, patterns and handles from other clothes, and there are now 12 exclusive items available on our website.

Boomerang Bags is a grassroots environmental movement that was founded by two inspiring ladies in Queensland in 2013. Their aim is to create beautiful shopping bags that help reduce the use and proliferation of single-use plastic bags.

Fortunate for us Sydney-siders, there is a collection of these passionate people right here in the heart of the Inner West. Even better, they want more hands and helpers to spread the message.

The Inner West Boomerang Bags Group get together on the first Saturday of every month to cut patterns, screen-print patches and sew bags and other items from donated fabric or materials which otherwise would be now sitting in landfill.

Keen to be part of the change making action and learn the skills to do it yourself?

Well schedule the first Saturday afternoon of every month from 1-5pm to volunteer at their sewing bees across the Inner West and start to the conversations about how we can all contribute to a more sustainable world. Find out where the next sewing bees are happening here.

There are Boomerang Bags groups all over, head here to find your closest group.

Ricardo Oliveira