Did you know?
One in ten kiwi kids live in poverty in Aotearoa. This is one of the worst rates of child poverty in the western world. Children are quite literally staying home from school because they do not have shoes to wear on their feet. Children who live in poverty are more likely to suffer poor health, poor education and struggle to find employment in adulthood.
In New Zealand, textile waste accounts for approximately 5-6% of landfill but produces about 30% of the carbon impacts. Despite this we have absolutely no reliable infrastructure for responsibly dealing with textile waste. In the end the majority of unused textiles are dumped offshore onto developing countries who also lack the resources or infrastructure to deal with them.
Unreal isn't it?!
This is ALL of our problem and yet there are currently only a handful of independent companies, charities and social enterprises who are left to try and solve it (and fund these solutions).
One such social enterprise is Ripple.
Ripple was created in response to the paradoxical reality of waste and need and a desire to alleviate both. Many of us have too much, many have not enough and there is a lack of effective methods to share resources.
Ripple collects unwanted children's clothing, they sort the clothing, make repairs as needed and re-distribute them to families in need. Any clothing that cannot be repaired or upcycled is recycled through Upparel. They collect stats on their impact and share this publicly.
Here is a real-time breakdown from their website of what they have achieved in only 10 months of operation.
💦 Provided 103 children Gear Boxes, ensuring they have clothing for an entire year while saving their families between $200-$400 per child.
💦 Sorted and processed 6795 items
💦 Reused 4145 items in our Gear Boxes
💦 Repaired or repurposed 223 items
💦 Recycled 2427 items through Upparel
💦 Prevented 360kg of Greenhouse Gases from entering the atmosphere
As of 04.12.23
Why we love Ripple?
Ripple is not just providing clothing for children in need. They are not just reducing Aotearoa's textile waste and greenhouse emissions. They are tackling both using one seamless circular system. It's innovative, it's creative and it's effective. Now imagine if we could also start improving the quality of the garments and fibres that this clothing was actually made of so they lasted longer and had less social and environmental impact in the first place!
We strongly encourage you to head to ripplemovement.co.nz to learn more about this wonderful initiative and their impact stats. If you need to make some room for the new kids clothing under the Christmas tree consider grabbing a collection bag while you are there to gift to a kiwi kid in need this holiday season.