Thread Together | Clothing Australia’s Vulnerable Communities

Sep 24, 2021by Olivia - F&F

Thread Together, a not-for-profit founded by Andie Halas in 2012, is fighting fashion waste, clothing people in need, and restoring their dignity — one piece of clothing at a time.

Thread Together Has Clothed More Than 300,000 Vulnerable Aussies

As an expert in marketing and fashion and a former shareholder of Seafolly, Andie Halas was painfully aware of the number of new clothes that sat in warehouses — unused, untouched, and destined for landfill. She was also aware that over 3 million Australians live below the poverty line, and roughly 1 in 8 adults cannot cover their basic needs, including the ability to purchase new clothes for work or school.

So, in 2012, she created Thread Together. Her mission was, and is, to deliver, new, good quality clothing and shoes to people in our community who are doing it tough.“Clothing is the forgotten need of people who are vulnerable. You think, okay, if someone's in need, they need shelter and food, but you forget about the dignity that clothing provides somebody,” Andie says.

Thread TogetherThread Together

Fashion Retailers + Charity Organisations + Thread Together Volunteers

Thread Together is a fantastic collaboration between fashion retailers, charity organisations, and Thread Together volunteers. The whole idea is to divert new clothing away from landfill and into the hands of vulnerable people! “We collect end-of-line brand new stock from clothing providers. With the support of volunteers, the clothes are sorted by age, gender, and purpose, and then re-distributed to people in need through charities across Australia,” Andie says. 

Thread Together has around 500 fashion partners who donate their end-of-line stock, including bigs brands like The Iconic, Bec + Bridge and General Pants Co.

“The new clothes are there. It’s just a matter of getting it from companies that have too much to people who find themselves at a time in their lives when they have too little,” says Andie.

Fighting Fashion WasteFighting Fashion Waste

Thread Together Is Fighting Fashion Waste!

Did you know that approximately 30 per cent of clothing is never sold? Plus, Australians send roughly 23kgs of textiles to landfill each 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. 

That’s precisely why not-for-profits like Thread Together are so important! So far, Thread Together has diverted more than 1,200,000 pieces of clothing from landfill. Pretty amazing, right? Every week, more than 2,000 Australians are provided with clean, brand new clothing that would’ve otherwise been discarded. It’s all about creating a circular economy where waste doesn’t exist.

Thread Together Clothing HubsThread Together Clothing Hubs

Thread Together’s Clothing Hubs

Currently, there are five Thread Together Clothing Hubs in NSW, and one in SA. The volunteers at these Clothing Hubs support people who are homeless, youth at risk, Indigenous communities, survivors of domestic violence, refugees and the long term unemployed. 

Thread Together’s Clothing Hubs offer a safe, friendly space where clients can retrieve clothing depending on their current circumstances. Some clients need warm clothing for the winter, and others need professional clothing to attend job interviews. Choosing brand new clothing can be life-changing. It’s potentially the first step towards finding employment, making friends, and feeling proud and dignified.

No matter what clothes they retrieve, “The difference that new clothing makes to how they stand, how they talk and how they present themselves is amazing,” says Volunteer, Libby.

Get InvolvedGet Involved

Get Involved With Thread Together

Thread Together is doing phenomenal things to clothe vulnerable Australians and reduce fashion waste. If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved with, please head to the Thread Together Volunteer page for more information.

You can offer your time as a Sorting Assistant, Clothing Assistant, Program Ambassador, or Wardrobe Ambassador! 

You can also Donate to Thread Together to change lives. Just $5 provides clothing for one person. But, it’s not just about the clothing — it’s about the dignity, confidence, and the brand new start that you can potentially offer someone. 

If you found this story inspiring, take a look at the ones below — we think you’ll like them!

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