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August 18, 2023 2 min read

Kathmandu's Waste-Warriors: Leading the Change Towards Circular Fashion!

Hey there, amazing humans! 

When we read about Kathamandu's recycling program, we could not hold our excitement. This loved, trailblazing brand is shaking up the fashion industry with its revolutionary repair program, and we are here for it! 

Ready to see how it works and what you can send to their recycling program?

Repairing with Purpose

Clothing collection bins have been placed in 24 Kathmandu stores across Melbourne so customers can donate their old, used, or faulty Kathmandu gear. A portion of appropriate items will be repaired and returned to retail as a part of the Kathman-REDU scheme, Kathmandu's recycling program. Avoiding you having to buy new at all! It was initially introduced in Melbourne, but the program is set to expand. Woohoo!

Kathmandu has partnered with Upparel as part of its circular business model. This partnership aims to reduce their impact on landfills by extending the lifecycles of their products and keeping them out of disposal sites. 

Kathmandu Recycling Program

The Power of Reusing and Second Hand

The types of gear that can be added to the Upparel bins include clothing items, hats, socks, and even shoes. Once the bins are collected from stores, Upparel takes over the process:

  • Collection: Upparel collects the bins, taking them to their facility in Melbourne.
  • Sorting: Upparel carefully sorts through each box to determine the condition of each item. Items suitable for reuse are separated from those that need recycling. Check out their Instagram; they post some great videos of their facilities! 
  • Re-use: Items fit for reuse are redistributed to Upparel's charity partners across Australia, extending their life and usefulness.
  • Recycle: For items that cannot be donated and have reached the end of their lifecycle, Upparell ensures they are recycled. Textiles are shredded into fibres and transformed into new materials or repurposed into furniture cushioning, protective packaging, and pillow filling.

The initiative was developed in collaboration with Aleasha McCallion from the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, who worked closely with Kathmandu to redirect any "pockets of waste" towards more profitable and sustainable solutions, Kathmandu ensures that none of its waste ends up in landfills.

Instead, items that may have been sold at a discount due to minor faults are now revitalised, maximising their potential and minimising environmental impact. More of this, please! 

Uniting for Change

By opting for repairs instead of replacements, we take one giant leap towards circular fashion - where clothes are loved, worn, built to last and cherished for years to come. But let's be honest - there's still a long way to go, and we're just getting warmed up! 

So, dear planet lovers, let's raise our reusable water bottles to Kathmandu's waste warriors and their incredible repair program. The future is bright, and the time for circular fashion is now!

Remember, the greenest garment is the one already in your wardrobe! 

Miss last week's feel-good Earth news story about The War on Waste's final episode on all things fashion waste in Australia? You can read more about it here, enjoy!

Much love,

GFZ Team xx

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