Textile recycling sparks joy for old clothes

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Lost the nostalgic glow over your 2012 Open Day T-shirt? Is the MacWarrior image haunting the depths of your drawers? Recycle out-of-date Macquarie-branded clothes, tablecloths and other fabrics for a discount at MacShop Online. 

It’s an all-too-familiar problem. The clothes clear-out comes around and we can easily part with the worn-out corduroy pants and pilled sweaters; but what about the faded Macquarie merch that has seen better days? Perhaps it elicits fond memories, or maybe we’re simply not sure whether items can or should be donated if they have old logos on them. Whatever the reason, too often it’s simply easier to shove it back in the drawer. 

In an exciting new initiative from the team at Campus Life’s MacShop, you can now recycle these items without the guilt that they’re simply going to landfill. To encourage participation, MacShop is also offering a 20% discount on your next purchase from MacShop Online. 

And it’s not just restricted to the cupboards at home. If you have old tablecloths with an out-of-date logo up the back of your department’s cupboard, now’s the time to dig them out and free up some space. 

Pre-loved Macquarie textile items are sought by the MacShop team, who will then send them to a local textile recycler to be processed into usable yarns and fabrics. 

To get a better idea how this all came about and to find out exactly how staff can use the service, we chatted to the person behind the scenes, Campus Life’s Merchandise Manager, Berend du Plessis. 

What got you started on a textile recycling initiative? 

The MacShop stockroom has a lot of garments which are not usable or donatable. Throwing these away to end up in landfill is not environmentally okay, so it just ends up taking up space that can be better utilised. Collecting them for recycling is a positive environmental action for sustainability. When we began the initiative, it occurred to us that individuals and departments across the Macquarie community would be facing the same issue as MacShop, so we thought it made sense to extend the program to everyone. 

I have my Macquarie Open Day t-shirt from 2012 – how do I return it and get a discount? 

First, fill in the online form on the MacShop website. We will get in touch with you to arrange collection on campus and to give you your individualised single-use discount code for MacShop Online.   

Can I just show up at MacShop with my bag of stuff for recycling and get my discount on the spot? 

No. This is an online promotional offer only. We wish we could take goods in person, but we simply don’t have the space. To make it work, it has to be digital and coordinated in advance.   

Can I use the discount code at MacShop on campus? 

Sorry, no. As this is an online promotion, the discount needs to be used for online purchases only. However, you can always come by the MacShop on campus to check out what we’ve got. Being winter it’s a great time to grab a new jumper, jacket or tracksuit pants. You can find us in the foyer of 18 Wally’s Walk. 

Is the discount regardless of volume, i.e. one shirt or 12 tablecloths? 

There are no volume limits – the only requirement is that the items need to be Macquarie-related and clean. However, individuals can only get the discount once per calendar year! 

Where does my stuff actually go? 

A company called TRA (Textile Recyclers Australia) breaks down the textiles into usable yarns that other manufacturers can use to make new items. 

Why can I only give you Macquarie-branded fabrics? 

This recycling initiative is by the University community, for the University community – to reduce our environmental impact. We have to pay for the service, so it’s about trying to make sure Macquarie-branded items don’t end up in landfill. 102kg of textile items have been redirected to environmentally sustainable solutions so far.  

Find out more and organise your Macquarie-related textile recycling today.

Historical Open Day photo source: Macquarie University Archives.

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