Of the three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle – it’s the second one that been the focus of recent work by the Onslow Parish’s climate catalyst, Bridget Hogkinson. After a project to promote and sell reusable produce bags, Bridget encouraged parishioners to spring clean their wardrobe and then held a community clothes swap with the result. The stylish array of pre-loved garments filled the St Barnabas hall in the Wellington suburb of Box Hill in early November, allowing people to give new life to second-hand clothing items.
One might wonder how second-hand clothing can contribute to climate change reduction. Perhaps surprising to some, the textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, even exceeding the aviation and maritime shipping indistries, producing 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. As “fast fashion” increases the amount of garments being consumed, and then discarded to landfill, a huge chunk of production facilities for garments are now centred in China and India and are powered by coal, further increasing the harm done by the fashion industry and our consumption habits (see more here).
By holding clothes swap events, our Onslow whānau have encouraged us with another way of slowing down damage by polluting industries such as the fashion industry, and contributing to the reduction of the impact of climate change.
The event was a fundraiser for the Onslow Parish, whilst items that were not sold were donated to op shops operated by the Wellington City Mission, St Vincent de Paul Society and local hospices.