Winter clothing drive to help people and the planet | #citycouncil

A dedicated team of young people are on a mission to collect as many warm clothes and blankets as they can to help the less fortunate while keeping textiles out of landfill.

The project is part of the 2023 Green Futures Now program. Facilitated by the Warrnambool City Council, Green Futures Now is a leadership program for people aged 12-25 to build knowledge and empower participants to explore solutions to address environmental issues.

Group participant Edward Higgins said that donating clothes was a simple measure people could take to make a difference in their community while keeping useful items out of landfill.

“We thought that a clothes drive would be an easy thing for people to do,” he said. 

“People can donate old winter clothes and they can be used by people who might be disadvantaged in winter.”

Globally, Australia is the second highest consumer of textiles per person, and the initiative also hopes to encourage people to think about the number of items they buy, and to consider the full life cycle of each product. 

The longer an item can be used, the longer it stays out of landfill, and importantly, the number of items needed to fulfil the same role is reduced. This decreases landfill volumes as well as emissions involved in the manufacturing and distribution of clothing.

“When clothes go into landfill they produce greenhouse gasses as they decompose,” Edward said.

Salvation Army Warrnambool is partnering with Green Futures Now on the project, and Ministry Assistant Chris Philpot said that a clothing drive was especially timely with the colder weather setting in.

“Winter is a difficult time of year for a lot of our people,” he said.

“For people who don’t have a lot of finances to spare, things like winter energy bills are especially challenging. 

“Something to keep them warm during the day or especially at night is really helpful.

“In some countries they even burn their old textiles, so it’s great to see things getting a second life.

“I think it’s fantastic to see young people exploring all these issues that we face as adults and to help make a positive difference in the world for people who are marginalised financially, but also for the environment.”

Any good condition winter clothing items and blankets can be dropped off at the Archie Graham Community Centre, Warrnambool Library, AquaZone and the Warrnambool Undercover Sunday Market until June 5.

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