01 October 2021

Spotlight On: Thread Together and Circular Fashion

Thread Together is an Australian non-profit organisation, driving social and environmental change that matters.

Partnering with over 100 charities across the country, Thread Together redistributes clothing at no cost to people in need, supporting vulnerable communities and rescuing the clothes from potential landfill.

We are proud to announce our partnership with Thread Together, donating and redistributing any out-of-season stock to communities in need, including: the homeless, youth at risk, Indigenous communities, survivors of domestic violence, refugees, long term unemployed, and those impacted by natural disasters. The Thread Together team works diligently to deliver a tailored service to each person, whilst cementing itself as an effective solution for the textile waste problem in Australia.

As DISSH expands into new markets we recognise our place in an industry which has a huge impact on the planet. With this in mind, we’re focused on implementing sustainable systems and practices to reduce our footprint and serve our conscious customers in a way that’s meaningful to us.

We sat down with Thread Together CEO, Anthony Chesler, to hear more about their work and how this partnership translates across our communities.

Tell us a little bit about the work of Thread Together across Australia?

We are the number one most ethical solution for fashion waste in Australia. We receive large volumes of brand-new clothing and distribute it to people in need. We are thankful to receive clothing donations from over 500 fashion brands which would have otherwise found itself in landfill. We save that fashion from landfill and place it back into circulation by giving it to people in need. We want to dignify people who are in very difficult situations by being able to choose clothing that best represents themselves, and to shop like anyone else would.

When we receive items, we go through our own internal quality control to make sure they are brand new with tags and ready them for distribution across Australia.

Can you explain how Thread Together reaches communities in need?

We distribute the clothing nationally in one of four ways: 1. Our mobile wardrobe service, a big van beautifully fitted out like a wardrobe, that allows us to be invited into communities and give people a shopping experience in the comfort of their own environment. 2. Clothing fashion hubs, these are permanent spaces located nationally where people can come and have an authentic shop in-store. 3. Modular Wardrobes, built in wardrobes that are located onsite generally in crisis accommodation to give individuals new clothing during an emergency time of need. 4. Our online store, accessed by our registered charity partners who shop on behalf of or with their clients.

Vulnerability takes so many different forms, shapes, and sizes. So being able to connect with our charity partners, understand the clients they work with and make sure that we're tailoring to them is vital to the success of the organisation.

Not only are you supporting communities across Australia, but you’ve also developed an effective solution to combat textile waste. Can you tell us a bit about the importance of circular fashion?

The average person throws out 23kgs of fashion a year and around two-thirds of these clothes are made from synthetic materials that break down into harmful microplastics. On a global scale, looking forward to 2030, it’s expected that we’ll discard more than 134 million tonnes of textiles per year. In order to reduce the wastage we have been able to divert tonnes of clothing from landfill and increase the circularity of them.

We think education is key.  Become informed about the impact of fashion on the environment and then you can make informed choices.  None of us are perfect but if we all make some small changes, we can have a big impact.

Can you give us an idea of how many clothes you’ve saved from landfill through redistribution?

Thread Together has diverted more than 2.4 million pieces of clothing from landfill and this number continues to grow. Every week, we are clothing over 2,000 Australians with over 10,000 units of clothing provided consisting of brand-new clothing that our communities have chosen and want to wear. These clothes would have run their course with brands trying to sell them, and now have found a new life through those who would have never been afforded the opportunity to choose and select clothing appropriate for them.

We are so excited to have made our first clothing donation with you. How do contributions like this make a difference to Thread Together and their mission?

Thank you for partnering with us and seeing the value in donating clothing. It is fantastic that brands want to do the right thing with their fashion by saving the environment whilst also supporting Australian communities in need. These partnerships are integral to what we do as without the clothing donations, the volunteer hours that brands give to us, and the financial support of the brands and their consumers we wouldn’t be able to continue the work we are doing.

We love how your mission brings fashion brands together in Australia, encouraging us to do our part socially and environmentally. We are proud to be joining forces with you and your current partners. What are some other Australian Fashion Brands you are working with to create and support this positive change?

We are grateful to partner with forward thinking brands such as yourself, who see the value in saving our environment whilst helping many Australians doing it tough. We are thankful to work with over 500 fashion brands, including; The Iconic, P.E Nation, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour and Nobody Denim. These brands are partnering with us across all areas and work with us to ensure they continue to make significant impact on the environment and into community.

What has been your most rewarding initiative to date?

This is always such a hard question to answer as we strive to improve the lives of Australians doing it tough each and every day. Ultimately it comes down to our ability to rapidly respond to crisis and the impact we have on an individual level - whether it's the smile from a mother that can clothe her children after fleeing an abusive partner, or the brief moment of hope provided to those who lost everything in the bushfires. Being able to provide a small amount of dignity at someone's most difficult moment is a truly humbling and rewarding experience.