Melbourne primary school students fight war on waste, raise…

A Melbourne primary school has started its own fashion label to combat textile waste.

Students at St Paul the Apostle in the suburb of Doreen have started the “Trash to Fash” label where they repair, repurpose, and donate second-hand clothing to a local op shop.

As well as saving fabric from landfill, the money raised is reinvested in the local community.

Each year Australia throws away 20 kg of textiles and clothes per person.

Educator Laura Vissaritis, better known as Laura V, said before the initiative most students did not realise textile waste was such a big problem.

“They were shocked, and so I said, ‘Well, we need to find out more about this, and what are we going to do about it?’,” Ms Vissaritis told the ABC.

“The more they learnt, the more creativity they had.”

Students watch as a teacher empties bags of clothing onto the floor.

Educator Laura Vissaritis showing students how much fabric the average Australian throws out every year.(ABC)

Ms Vissaritis said the program was also changing students’ behaviour at home, with many repairing their own clothing.

“I don’t really buy anything new,” student Georgia said.

“I only really buy if, like, I’m running out of clothes and it’s getting too small.”

Inventive solutions

Ms Vissaritis said students who had never picked up a needle and thread had learnt to sew by hand and machine.

They have also found creative ways to rescue items that would otherwise have been thrown out, including Aeshan’s invention to enable your clothes to grow as you do.

“I basically made a machine that is supposed to stretch one size into a bigger one,” he said.

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