Mel is a Responsible Retail Strategist for Ndless: The New Normal and is the Australia & New Zealand Co-ordinator of Fashion Revolution. As an Ambassador for this year's Garage Sale Trail, hear what Mel is looking forward to most...
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO BE A GARAGE SALE TRAIL AMBASSADOR?
Because so much of what ends up in landfill doesn't need to be there. Any initiative that encourages reuse gets a giant tick from me. I also love a good fossick around garage sales, they’re like a treasure hunt with that feeling of discovery that you just can’t replicate at shops. I also love the sense of community that Garage Sale Trail encourages. Seeing neighbours and whole streets get together to hold sales and swap stories brings a great spirit to the cause.
HOW CAN WE BE MORE CONSCIOUS CONSUMERS OF FASHION?
At a basic level, consider whether you really need something before you buy it. Impulse shopping is responsible for a wasteland in our wardrobes so just adding this step can stop you from making unnecessary purchases.
I’d then be asking if you would get a minimum of 30 wears from your garment. Fashion needn't be disposable if we commit to giving it a decent run. If you can’t get 30 wears out of an item then ask yourself whether you are getting true value.
At a garage sale, it might be a good idea to make sure it fits. Lame I know, but how many times have you just grabbed something as it’s $2 and it in no way shape or form is it going to fit your bod. Put it down, walk away, let someone else have the glory. There’ll be other nuggets of gold, I promise.
The ultimate way to being more conscious is by doing some research and asking questions. If you want to know where and how and by whom your clothes are made, hit up your favourite brand on social media and ask #whomademyclothes or deep dive into the resources available on fashionrevolution.org
WHAT’S THE BEST THING YOU’VE EVER BOUGHT AT A GARAGE SALE?
It’s not clothing but vintage homewares which I’m a bit of a sucker for. My whole house is furnished with second-hand wares. It’s this beautiful copper citrus squeezer which I eyed from across the street in the Blue Mountains. I was like an eagle to its prey, not taking my eyes off it the whole time I was walking towards it and swooped it up before anyone had a chance to take a second look. I love it and it has pride of place as an object d’art on a sideboard.
WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST THING YOU’VE EVER SEEN FOR SALE AT A GARAGE SALE?
A pack of stale biccies. Classy.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM GARAGE SALE FIND?
A row of size 41 shoes that are in great condition, have plenty of steps left in them and perfectly match my style. Not much to ask.
WHO WOULD BE IN YOUR DREAM GARAGE BAND?
The National and Tash Sultana. Can you imagine the sound they’d make?
WHAT’S THE MOST TREASURED POSSESSION IN YOUR GARAGE?
My camping gear which shamefully hasn’t seen a campsite in too long a while. And no, it’s not for sale. I have faith in myself that it will get a run soon!
WHAT’S YOUR BEST TIP FOR ‘GARAGE SALE ETIQUETTE?
Be a polite swooper. Never snatch! And bargaining has its limits. If you have to haggle, be decent, that person could be making your coffee the next morning and no one wants to incur the wrath of a scorned barista.