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.

Council initiatives

The upcoming Salvage Recycling Art Exhibition will display artworks created by Brisbane artists this year that demonstrate the creative potential in everyday furniture and household items sourced from Council's tip shops and other second-hand centres. Check out the Recycling Art Exhibition events in Council's What's On calendar.

The Revive Second-hand Fashion Festival will return in August 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 is sponsoring the Garage Sale Trail which will be held on Saturday 21 October 2017. It is a day of community sales across Australia promoting reuse, fundraising and local connections. Buying second-hand is a great way to support your community and reuse items for a more clean and green Brisbane.

Reuse and upcycle tips

There are many 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
28 June 2017