Recycled Trail Achieves Milestone – The Border Watch

RECYCLED TRAIL CELEBRATIONS: Trudy-Anne Doyle, Recycled Trail Organizer, and Kristi Brooks, Mount Gambier Library Team Leader, celebrate 10 years of the event.

Charlotte Varcoe

THE past decade has been a fairytale for organizers of the Recycled Runway fundraiser, with the 2022 event marking 10 years since its humble beginnings.

Promoting the reduction, reuse and recycling of second-hand clothing, this year’s theme of Enchanted Forests is expected to bring out the best in local sewing creativity.

Participants purchase a reusable bag full of materials they can use to create new themed garments, which will then be modeled in a fashion show on August 27.

Initially the event was held in conjunction with the Belltower Opportunity Shop and Mount Gambier Library as the finale of Environmental Awareness Month, but now the annual event is a well known and loved fundraiser for Mount Gambier’s ac.care organization.

Belltower organizer and volunteer Trudy-Anne Doyle said she didn’t expect the event to last a decade.

“At first we just thought it would be a fun idea to run alongside environment month and we did that for several years through the library, but it just got bigger and bigger until we couldn’t do it anymore because it was too much work for the library,” Ms Doyle said.

“That’s when we decided to accept him as a fundraiser for ac.care and even though we weren’t sure it would be successful, we just accepted him and he’s since become this that he is now.”

Ms Doyle said she was excited to see what candidates would come up with to incorporate the theme this year.

“We’ve sold a lot of bags so far which is fantastic and a lot more schools and new faces have joined in as well,” she said.

“The theme has gained popularity and everyone loves it because it is quite broad and has lots of options.

“If people make a mistake with some of the clothes in the bag, they can come into the store and chat with volunteers and we can find something similar to use instead because we really want people to have the opportunity to do their best.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, Ms Doyle said a number of personalities were also invited to the event, including Mount Gambier Library Team Leader Kristi Brooks, who helped organize the event over the first years.

Ms Brooks said she thought it was wonderful to see the event become an annual highlight for many people.

“It’s been a great way to showcase local talent and the incredible skills of locals as they piece together amazing outfits from bags that would normally go to landfill,” Ms Brooks said.

The bags are still available for sale in the Opportunity store while supplies last, with all completed outfits to be returned to the Belltower store by August 1.

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