Make the most of waste by the Auckland Council

Nothing's Wasted

Published: Thursday 29 September 2016

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Nothing’s Wasted team (L-R) Kasun Ranga, Waveney Warth, Claire Scott-Knight and Daniel Lasei.

You may have wondered just how seriously the people who work in Auckland Council’s Waste Solutions unit are – do they, for example, live and breathe waste reduction in all aspects of their lives? 

Well yes, and even their social soccer team isn’t exempt. Aptly named Nothing’s Wasted, the team play in the Auckland Futsal mixed league on a Wednesday night.

Looking at the uniforms of other league teams, Nothing’s Wasted decided they needed to choose their own kit, but one that reflected the zero waste ethos of the Waste Solutions unit.

The decision took the team on journey of unexpected finds and surprising creativity.

Team member and rubbish free champion Daniel Lasei found a box of brand new t-shirts on the tipping floor at Waitakere Transfer Station. “There was nothing wrong with them except they promoted a retail outlet that no longer existed – so someone had just chucked them away,” he says.

Seizing on the opportunity the team then approached Inspired Clothing to rework the t-shirts.

Inspired Clothing is a social enterprise run by volunteers who transform unwanted uniforms, materials and fabrics into children's garments and accessories.

Nadja Bahnikova, a pattern maker and designer who volunteers for the group, re-sewed the plus-size t-shirts to remove the old logo and provide a range of sizes for Nothing’s Wasted team members.

Her motivation? Giving back.

“There is so much wastage in the fashion industry, things are thrown away because the colour has faded, or there are overseas samples that can’t be sold. It’s good to find a purpose for items that are destined for the landfill,” she says.

True to the zero waste philosphy, Nadja also used leftover fabric to make individual t-shirt carry bags for the team - the rest of the material has been repurposed as ties for staked tomatoes.

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The t-shirts were then screen printed with the team’s name and mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

“I can’t believe how much has gone into making these t-shirts happen – particularly the incredibly skilful work done by the lovely people at Inspired Clothing. We simply can’t thank them enough,” says Daniel.

Want more? The Tipping Point shop at Waitakere Transfer Station items for sale that have been diverted from landfill. These include lawnmowers, bicycles, furniture, sporting equipment, demolition materials and timber, and bric a brac. 

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Nothing's Wasted team members Kasun Ranga (L) and Daniel Lasei (R) with designer Nadja Bahnikova