7-Eleven Australia working to reduce textile waste with Loop Upcycling

24 June 2024

7-Eleven Australia is trying new ways to reduce textile waste going to landfill, working with Loop Upcycling (Loop) to recycle old uniforms.

According to Julie Laycock, General Manager - Customer, “7-Eleven Australia is continuously looking at opportunities to redirect our waste from landfill.

“Having identified old uniforms and other textiles, and learning from Loop Upcycling what the fabrics could be turned into, we collaborated with our community partners The Salvation Army and AMES Australia to determine what would be most useful for their clients.”

The old uniforms and other textiles were made by the Loop social workshops into stretch fabric beanies.

The beanies were donated to people experiencing homelessness, winter power bill challenges, and new migrants and refugees who might be experiencing their first Melbourne winter.

This collaboration has diverted more than 143kg of clothing from landfill.  

Mr Franco Randazzo, Chief Executive Officer, Loop Upcycling says "many of the participants who produced the beanies have themselves been supported by organisations like The Salvation Army or AMES Australia.

For them to have the chance to work on a project that not only benefits the environment and helps them learn new skills, but also provides them the chance to give back to organisations who have been there for them in times of struggle has been really extraordinary,” Mr Randazzo said.

“Our participants were excited to learn how to make this product and were so happy to hear the beanies would be donated to people who are in need. The beanies are great fun to make especially when split into small manageable steps, which enabled our less confident sewists to really build on their existing skills. After only a few days in the warehouse we already had participants bringing in lunch to share, handing out fruits from their own garden and sitting together sharing stories.”

Ms Laycock said 7-Eleven Australia is continuing to explore opportunities to reduce waste.

“Being able to support those in need and redirect waste from landfill is something we are trying to do more of. Loop, in addition to recycling textiles, provides workplace and skills training for vulnerable people. This project has created some extraordinary moments for connection and caring in our communities and we are looking forward to continuing to trial ways to reduce waste across our business.”

Picture of Loop upcycling participants holding beanies made from 7-Eleven uniforms