Australians throw away thousands of tons of old clothing every year as we buy thousands of tons of new clothing.
Much of these new purchases are possibly from overcrowded clothing manufacturing factories abroad – like the one in Bangladesh we tragically learned about in 2012.
Thankfully, companies like Handcut are intercepting those loads of abandoned garments and making them fashionable again.
“In 2008 we opened in our fantastic new location at 106 Alexander Street, Crows Nest,” says Tanya Greenwood, dubbed Handcut girl.
“Since then Handcut continues to refashion recycled material in to great, new, one of a kind garments.”
So where does Two Men And A Truck come in, you might ask.
Two Men and A Truck voluntarily assists Handcut in transporting loads of clothes to and from wherever they can salvage old woollen jumpers, trousers, Manchester and rags.
“We love that they’ve supported us in our sustainable vision and are themselves environmentally conscientious,” Tanya says.
“We are thrilled to see how recycling and sustainable practices has emerged as a major part of their business as well.”
With the huge scale of clothing that comes into their warehouse, Handcut has had to churn out the material with creativity and speed.
And while the end products are revolutionary and glamorous, the process is definitely not a red carpet profession… until the very end.
The Handcut team call themselves farmers, selecting rags just like picking fruit. Then the garments are bundled up and dispatched to the professionally qualified design and production team who measure, cut, sew… and fabulously transform.
“Every season we save over 100, 000 woolen jumpers, 52, 000 woollen trousers, 30, 000 mens’ dress shirts, 10, 000 trench coats and thousands of kilos of household manchester fabrics,” Tanya says.
And the results are not only fit for the catwalk, it’s unique and sustainable art that is most often a complete one-off design.
Now an established and booming business, Handcut has managed to overcome one of the main hurdles in sustainable industries and evolved to meet its clients needs.
They’ve introduced jewellery, belts, watches and handbags from suppliers with a similar vision of recycling and sustainability, and also offer fashion parties.
“They are often described as upmarket contemporary ‘tupperwear’ parties,” Tanya says.
Handcut @ Home is for those who aren’t thrilled by the service and products offered in department stores.
“Given the enthusiastic response of our clients it also a great reason to get your friends together, have a champagne and share in the joy of fabulous garments and playing dress up,” she says.
Two Men And A Truck founder and brand ambassador Richard Kuipers is proud to help Handcut through its own corporate responsibility, sustainability and community outreach program – Moving Together.
“The beauty of providing pro bono services for a good cause is that is has a flow on effect. Running a business is not just about making money, it’s about making an impact, and Handcut achieves this with its clients, its staff and its fashion,” he says.
Handcut also donates shoes and clothing to:
-Qantas Helping Hands Community which aims to help underprivileged people in disadvantaged communities, and,
-Dress for Success in Marrickville which assists women to achieve self-sufficiency and financial independence.
Find out more about Handcut on their website www.handcut.com.au