Reuse and upcycle | Brisbane City Council

Reuse and upcycle

Brisbane City Council is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill in Brisbane by reusing and recovering valuable resources. Find out more below about how you can get involved.

Council initiatives

The Revive Second-hand Fashion Festival will return for its third year on Friday 17 August 2018 to celebrate the style, value and eco-friendly virtues of buying pre-loved clothing. This event encourages residents to consider how they can make more sustainable fashion choices, and actively supporting textile recycling, reuse and repair.

Council has sponsored the annual Garage Sale Trail event for the last six years and nearly 600 garage sales and stalls participated in last year’s event. The event links garage sales across Australia and supports reuse, fundraising and fostering local connections. Take part as a shopper or seller in this year’s Garage Sale Trail on 20-21 October 2018. The event is a great chance to declutter your home, shop the trail for treasure and help Brisbane keep more waste out of landfill. Start planning your participation in this year's Garage Sale Trail.

The Salvage Recycling Art Exhibition showcases artworks created by Brisbane artists that demonstrate the creative potential in everyday furniture and household items sourced from Council's tip shops and other second-hand centres.

Boomerang Bags

Brisbane residents looking to actively participate in tackling plastic waste can connect with their local ‘Boomerang Bags’ volunteer group.

This initiatives brings together volunteers to create reusable shopping bags by upcycling fabrics that could otherwise end up in landfill. The upcycled bags are distributed at locations by each group where they identify an opportunity to encourage better waste reduction behaviours and start meaningful conversations in their local community.

New participants do not need sewing skills as there are many other ways to get involved. More than 20 groups exist across Brisbane and residents wishing to get involved should visit the Boomerang Bags website to either join an existing group or start their own.

Reuse and upcycle tips

There are many other everyday items that we can reuse and upcycle instead of throwing into the bin and wasting these resources in landfill. Here are some tips to help you reuse more at home:

  • buy from Council’s tip shops and from op shops, antique centres, garage sales and community sales
  • always share or donate quality items that you don’t need or want
  • take reusable furniture and homewares to Council’s free resource recovery centres. They will be donated to tip shops and all funds raised support Endeavour Foundation.
  • give yourself a project to repair and refurbish homewares and furniture, rather than buying brand new
  • incorporate pre-loved and revived clothing into your wardrobe by mending, altering and buying second-hand.

Pre-loved and revived clothing tips

By prolonging the life of existing clothing, we can avoid sending textiles to landfill. Mending, altering and updating your clothes is another way to feel good about what you wear, while supporting sustainability.

When buying pre-loved fashion, remember:

  • go in with an open mind and embrace the unexpected
  • classic clothing never dates, so invest in timeless pieces made from quality fabrics
  • the term 'retro' is for 1970's to 1980’s, while 'vintage' is 1970’s and older
  • you can replace buttons and zips, and hems can be easily altered
  • sizes vary between decades and regions, so ignore the label and try it on!
  • dedicate enough time to enjoy the hunt. Your ultimate second-hand gem is out there
  • imagine how these new treasures will fit in with pieces in your existing wardrobe
  • if the fabric is fine and the style is great, consider having it resized by a tailor or learning how to fix it yourself
  • feel good knowing revived fashion is unique, financially savvy, and environmentally sustainable
  • continue the hunt for second-hand gems at op shops and vintage sellers across Brisbane. Look up some of the Revive market stallholders, who have permanent stores too
  • help inspire others and share your second-hand finds on social media with #ReviveBNE
20 July 2018