Often, living more sustainably and reducing waste to landfill can come down to what you buy, and more importantly what you don’t buy. Brisbane City Council is celebrating Buy Nothing New month this October with Revive Festival 2021 . Celebrating more than just second-hand fashion, Revive is your ticket to reuse, repair and thrifting for your entire home.
Why Buy Nothing New?
Humans are using more resources than the Earth can replenish each year. This is no surprise when one-quarter of Australians have thrown away an item of clothing after wearing it just once. Australians also buy an average of 27 kilograms of new textiles each year and then discard about 23 kilograms into landfill.
In Brisbane, more than 9160 tonnes of textiles were discarded in household rubbish and recycling bins (Note: textiles cannot be recycled in Council’s household recycling bin) in the last financial year, and more than 1500 tonnes of furniture was also sent to landfill.
Buy Nothing New Month is the global movement for collective, conscious consumption. That may seem like a mouthful but it’s easier than you may think! It can start with a simple commitment to reuse what you have, repair what is broken and thrift or borrow when you need something ‘new’.
Reusing instead of buying new is more than just salvaging and re-wearing what you have at home. It can inspire conversations with your neighbours and friends when you borrow or share items like tools, clothing, books and not often used household appliances (think ice-cream maker or baking equipment). It can mean a ‘new’ toy a every few weeks for a child when you join your local toy library. And it can mean saving space and clutter in your home (and often your mind) when you realise you only needed to use that item once and now you don’t need to find somewhere to store it.
You don’t have to be overly handy to have a go at repairing your clothes, appliances or furniture. Seek inspiration from online tutorials or book into a workshop to learn new skills. If all else fails, support a local repair or alterations business in your community by taking your items to be repaired.
Buying nothing new is not only good for our environment but it supports Brisbane’s growing circular economy. Shop your local second-hand, reuse and recycle trail to find a second-hand precinct near you. Council’s Treasure Troves are a great place to start.
Your commitment to conscientious consumption doesn’t have to end in October. Continue to ask yourself “do I really need it?” If it’s broken, “can I repair it?” If not, “can I get it second-hand, borrow it, rent it or support a local business?”
Information for parents
Young children move through many stages in the first five years of life. Highchairs, prams, cots, and other items are expensive when purchasing new and are often only needed for a short time. There are plenty of Brisbane-based buy, swap, sell groups specifically for parents with small children, as well as second-hand stores and clothing markets specifically for children. You can also look into hiring services and toy libraries, which could save you a small fortune. Council’s website has useful information, including a map, to help get you started.
Head to Revive Festival 2021
For more inspiration head to a Revive Festival 2021 event near you. This year’s event will feature workshops, activations, and events throughout Buy Nothing New month. Be inspired to create a more sustainable wardrobe, learn how to upcycle more effectively, and find ways to repair your common household items to help create a clean and green Brisbane.