Recycling in style
Fashion doesn’t need to cost the Earth, and it certainly doesn’t at Pinesong. Every Wednesday, a pop-up store selling recycled clothing is not only helping the planet but creating a community too.
Selling high-quality clothing, jewellery, shoes and accessories donated by residents and their families, Nu2U (New to you) has been a raging success since opening two years ago.
It’s becoming more and more popular because of the effect it’s having on the environment,” says Jean Piper, leader of the initiative.
All proceeds from the Pinesong pop-up shop are donated to St John and in just two years, over $14,000 has been raised.
The money we’ve made so far is phenomenal. It’s amazing, isn’t it, what you can do in three hours on a Wednesday morning?” says Jean.
It wouldn’t be possible without Nu2U’s 11 resident volunteers, with two running the store each week. Resident musician Judy Nicholls shows up every week to play the piano while the store is open, making the shopping experience extra special.
They’re a lovely group of ladies and we all get on well together. We’re all working towards a very good cause,” says Jean.
The initiative came about when a Pinesong resident visited another village and saw a similar resident-led initiative and told Jean about it over coffee one morning. “It went a bit clicky in my head,” says Jean. “When I get ideas like that and I think it’s a good one, I usually run with them, so I did!”
The rest was history; Jean gained support from village management, gathered a group of volunteers who were keen to help and put a notice in the Pinesong Press asking for good, well-loved clothing.
The donated clothes are virtually brand new and easy on the wallet. Prices range from unmarked items being $5, to some nicer items being $10, and fur coats and real gems for $25-30 – the highest any item is sold for.
The store changes its stock depending on the season, so come September Nu2U will hold a grand opening for the Spring Collection. If Jean deems an item unsuitable for Nu2U it’s donated to Hospice or the Salvation Army. With more and more donations coming from families, meaning the clothes are suitable for younger people too.
I feel so rewarded, because the residents are so grateful. They’re the ones we depend on, and they’re so grateful, they love it,” says Jean.