Community artwork from recycled textile waste

Re-fashioned: Katrina Naish will lead a recycling workshop as part of the Echuca Library’s 10th anniversary celebrations. Photo by contribution

How do you help prevent six tonnes of textile waste from going to landfill in Australia every year?

Turn it into a work of art.

A “re-fashioned” recycling workshop at the Echuca Library as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations will take place on Saturday, August 27.

The community is invited to participate in decorating “The Belonging Tree” that the Community Living & Respite Services recycling team created with denim textile waste, and is also asked to donate their non-wearable denim before the daytime.

The tree will highlight how we can divert fabric from the landfill and continue to adorn the library and be an inviting place to read a book.

This workshop is led by Katrina Naish, who seeks to inspire the next generation to consider textile waste as a resource and be more conscious about fashion consumption.

Ms Naish has worked in the fashion industry for over 20 years and recently pivoted her business ‘A Fitting Connection’ to focus on sustainability, after becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the role of the fashion industry as a major polluter.

“I’ve never felt comfortable with the amount of waste created when the clothes are made and thrown into the ever-faster fashion cycle,” Ms Naish said.

“In Australia, 31 kg of textile waste goes to landfill for every person, every year. I find this absolutely shocking and have decided to use my industry knowledge to help change this.

In addition to running one-off workshops, Ms. Naish also works with schools to create products for fundraising purposes and hosts a seasonal clothing swap market.

“Our workshops and initiatives are designed to create awareness and start conversations,” she said.

“I place particular emphasis on the involvement of our young people. They have a great passion for environmental causes, and I want to give them the skills they need to bring about change.

“Even better, kids can walk away with something they can enjoy, like a soccer ball.

“These workshops are not only educational, kids love them because they are satisfying and fun.”