Transition Village Wallan has opened its recycle/upcycle op shop in Kilmore, aiming to reduce waste as well as fundraise for the charity.
The group is a community-managed charity aimed at developing an eco-friendly village for people who are or at risk of homelessness.
The op shop project is one of many small business ventures the village will undertake, generating both publicity, financial support for the charity and promoting the idea that op shops can recycle items rather than sending them to landfill.
Transition Village chief executive Judy Clarke said the op shop project was designed to reflect the group’s sustainable principles.
“This is a really practical demonstration of reusing, reducing and recycling,” she said.
“People donate to op shops to recycle, which is great, but many op shops haven’t quite grasped the idea yet that we can’t be sending all this to landfill.”
Ms Clarke said the groups involved in the charity were part of the reason the op shop project could remain as sustainable as possible.
“The so-called ‘waste’ that would normally go to the landfill will go to our member’s group, so if there’s a stain or hem that needs to be done we’re going to wash and iron them and put them up with the volunteers,” she said.
“The rest of it will go to the maker’s group that will take unusable items and repurpose them, using the fabric to make bags, braided rugs, masks, all sorts of things.”
The op shop also aims to bring the community together following the separation over the past 18 months, with bright colours and a positive atmosphere allowing residents to donate and be a part of the charity.
Ms Clarke is thankful to the owner of Finch’s Supermarket in Kilmore, where the op shop is set up, for allowing them to run the project from inside his store.
“Tan [is great for] just letting us in here without even knowing who I was,” she said.
“He came over the other day with his translator phone, and on the screen it said ‘who are you and what are you actually doing?’
“We’ve been here three days and done renovations and everything, he’s amazing.”
Transition Village is seeking volunteers, with everyone welcome regardless of work experience.
For more information and updates on the village and its projects, people can visit www.transitionvillagewallan.com.au or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TransitionVillage.
This was originally published on The North Central Review on August 24, 2021.