Bringing the community together through textiles
In May 2023, SLA, in partnership with our Innovation Precinct Place Curators from Woden Community Service and Canberra Environment Centre, hosted Care, Share, Repair.
This was an exciting, community-led exploration of textiles at the Innovation Precinct in the SLA Display Village.
The event was an exciting way to create community ties around sustainability and highlight the diverse ways people can take action to care for, share and repair their clothes so they can contribute to a circular economy.
A growing problem requiring connection and innovation
Our use and disposal of cheap fashion along with other textiles continues to flood our waste processing systems with an avalanche of unwanted fabrics.
According to a report by the Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA), almost 80% of unwanted textiles in NSW alone end up in landfill. ACTA estimated that close to 1 million tonnes of textiles were being consumed in Australia each year. The report also noted that more than 40% of all textiles imported into Australia are clothing items.
Despite the cold and windy weather, over 120 people attended our Care, Share, Repair event, reflecting the community's interest and commitment to sustainable fashion. Attendees were delighted by the various offerings, including a clothes swap and textile art workshops conducted by local Canberra artists. The event not only provided an opportunity to browse and exchange loved clothing but also empowered individuals to learn new skills and techniques to care for and repair their garments.
Woden Community Service, our Place Curator in the Display Village, made a conscious effort to promote and showcase talented artists from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds – ensuring the event represented the entire community. Participants and attendees could see their traditions and heritage reflected back at them in the artwork and the overall event experience.
Specific workshops further emphasised the care, share and repair ethos, encouraging the community to expand their knowledge and interest in sustainable clothing choices.
Natural Eco Dying with Pinal Maniar
Participants joined Pinal Maniar of Idyll Ink to learn how to tie dye fabrics with plant materials and kitchen scraps – exploring the magic alchemy of plants, water, heat, mordants and modifiers. They also took home eco-dyed tote bags and new insights into the natural dyeing potential of our natural environment.
Jewellery Repair with Sinead Buckney
This workshop taught attendees the art of repairing and upcycling jewellery. Participants could bring costume or metal jewellery pieces that need a bit of TLC. Sinead Buckney, a Canberra-based jeweller who uses responsibly resourced silver and gold and natural gemstones, gave everyone tips on maintaining and cleaning their pieces at the drop-in jewellery repair station.
Mindful Visible Mending with Kirandeep Grewal
Participants explored the concept of visible mending, embracing flaws in garments as opportunities for creative repairs that add character and longevity to clothing items.
Twining Station with Sally Holliday
This workshop introduced the traditional technique of twining, where participants learned to weave fibres from old clothes and fabrics to create decorative and functional cord pieces.
Inspiring and empowering
We hope the event sowed some seeds in the many young people who attended. Allowing them to witness and adopt sustainable behaviours and choices from an early age. While also empowering them to become conscious consumers and advocates for a more sustainable future.
Care, Share, Repair served as an inspiring showcase of sustainable fashion. On top of this, it highlighted the power of collaboration and education in fostering sustainable practices and bringing communities together around a shared interest and responsibility for sustainability.
More sustainable events promoting responsible consumption and production will be delivered at the Innovation Precinct in the future. For more information, visit our Display Village.