Thread Together wins Round One

Published on 13 August 2019

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Thread Together wins Round One

Founded by Andie Halas, Thread Together is one solution to the massive environmental impact of fast fashion, ensuring Australians receive new clothes when they need it most.

Thread Together has won 2019 round one in Sunsuper's Dreams for a Better World program to expand its unique service and ensure more end-of-line stock from retailers go to people in need, rather than landfill.

“One third of clothing goes to waste. To go from factory to landfill, when there are people in need, it makes no sense.”

With clothing hubs in Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide, the rapidly growing not-for-profit organisation plans to use the grant to expand to Melbourne. Their dream is to have hubs in every capital city in Australia and mobile wardrobes to reach regional communities.

Director Greg Fisher says clothes are essential to us all. When people are at their most vulnerable, that is when they deserve the best.

“At Thread Together, we are to fashion, like other organizations like Oz Harvest are to food. Everybody understands that they collect food that otherwise would go to landfill, and they get it to people who are doing it tough. Well, we get clothes that otherwise would go to landfill, and get it to people who are doing it tough.”

Thread Together works with major retailers like The ICONIC, Connor and Tarocash to send end-of-line stock to charity partners like Anglicare and St Vincent de Paul, so that people in need have access to new clothing.

“New clothes give people that extra energy, that extra hope, that extra dignity, possibility and belief that need is not forever,” Greg said.

“Imagine you’re going for a job interview, you have the same qualifications as the next person. But because they’re all geared up and ready to go, and looking fantastic, and you’re homeless or just out of prison, or simply don’t have access to clothes that fit properly, there's no way you're going to shine as they will shine. So having new clothes in that circumstance for example, is crucial.”

"Thread Together is the highest ethical response to fashion excess. It means that for just $5 per outfit, they can get clothes onto the backs of people that are doing it tough."

“There’s a whole group of people out there where being able to have choice and the fact that they're new garments provides a sense of dignity. And that's priceless because it just allows them to feel better, and therefor to do better. You can’t put a dollar value on that,” said Andie.

Andie Halas explains how Thread Together started:

"I was working at Seafolly and I tried some new designs for blue and white towels, and there was a production issue. So I thought, "Oh, what am I going to do with these?" I didn't want to dump them in a landfill.

So I thought, "We can do something better with these. So I took them down the road to the Asylum Seeker Center, which was just around the corner, and donated them.

But when I was there I noticed that lots of the clients there were just rummaging through old boxes with old bras and shoes and I thought, "Oh, this is really undignified and really unnecessary," because I knew around the corner there were warehouses filled with excess stock.

Although second hand clothes had been kindly donated by well-meaning citizens, they often didn't fit. And they weren't what the people would have chosen for themselves.

I knew that I could do better than what was available.

And with the help of many, seven years on Thread Together has provided new clothes to more than 250,000 Australians."


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