Volunteers at Vinnies Wellington’s Re Sew workshop repurpose textile waste from Vinnies op shops in a supportive learning environment.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul runs nine op shops. Discarding unusable donations, mostly clothing and textiles, was costing more than $30,000 a year. Vinnies Re Sew workshop was established in October 2017. It collects the waste and remakes it into new products. This includes bags to use in the shops, as well as hats, gloves and slippers which are given out to the community through the organisation’s welfare office.
Led by a paid, full-time coordinator, Re Sew is operated by volunteers and participants. Re Sew provides a supportive learning environment with opportunities for people to volunteer and collaborate on a varied range of projects. The facilities are open to all but they focus on supporting participants from various welfare services, new immigrants, refugees, bridging programmes and disability organisations. The initiative works to build confidence and skill sets to enable people to move on into paid work, further education or simply back into the community.