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Wellington City Council to recycle parks, sport and recreation staff uniforms

Wellington City Council to recycle parks, sport and recreation staff uniforms
December 30, 2017

Wellington City Council has entered a partnership to recycle used uniforms from its parks, sport, recreation and other staff.

The two-year partnership with Waste Minimisation grant recipient The Formary has resulted in an audit and analysis of Council staff uniforms, and processes put in place to divert these fabrics from Landfill, and turn them into reusable garments and textiles.

Foster Hope and Kiwi Community Assistance has been the first recipient of this exciting new initiative, receiving repurposed rash tops previously used by Council SwimWell staff.

Wellington City Council Sustainability portfolio lead, Councillor Iona Pannett, is a keen advocate for the programme, commenting “this initiative ticks all the boxes as the goals of this project are both financially, environmentally, and socially beneficial for us, the other Formary partners, and the recipients around the country.

“There are a number of Council teams who wear uniforms like our Parks, Sport, and Recreation staff, traffic wardens, and local hosts, but this programme now means their garments can be transformed when they reach their expiry date, and repurposed for another use.”

The Formary leads the NZ Textile Reuse Programme, a collaboration between some of New Zealand’s most prominent brands and organisations, aiming to create a change in how end-of-life clothing is managed.

The Formary Chief Executive Peter Thompson explains “there is an incredible amount of value that is lost with our current clothing system. By intercepting these shirts we were able to re-engineer them to have a second life with children in need.

The resulting work between Wellington City Council, The Formary and community organisations was a collaboration that restores your faith in humanity.”

The SwimWell rash tops were identified as a good test material as the garments are easy to work with. The Formary reached out through their networks to Crafty Volunteers, who removed the Council’s branding and re-stitched new panels into the rash shirts.

St Vincent De Pauls provided the work space and machinery in their new Re-Sew studio in Kilbirnie, with the finished garments going to children through Foster Hope and Kiwi Community Assistance.

Image: The Formary staff recycling Wellington City Council uniforms.

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