Repurposing – We should do a lot more of it

Repurposing – We should do a lot more of it

I want to share some highlights from a conversation I had with
IP Australia, an
Australian Government agency that administers intellectual property
rights and legislation relating to designs.

IP Australia got in touch after coming across an interview I did
with the Australian Retail Association featuring my experience with
design, business and marketing. Some of their team members wanted
to have a chat to explore the challenges I feel exist around
consumerism and repurposing.

Below are some key topics we covered on how design and marketing
affect consumerism and repurposing.

Why do we feel like we need to upgrade and have the
latest ‘things’ all the time?

I sometimes feel the pressure (especially from big brands and
social media) to have the latest and greatest. But I refuse to
upgrade unless I absolutely must and try to stick to a minimalist
view. For example, I’ve said countless times that I only have a
few things and those things are of exceptionally high quality,
which means I own my stuff for a long time. It’s my way of not
being so wasteful.

There’s not enough marketing to promote

I live in a city (Melbourne) where I’m bombarded with messages
(on tram stops, busses, billboards etc.) of the features and
benefits of things that we don’t need. I hardly ever see
marketing campaigns that promote what we should do with our old
things once we’ve replaced them – maybe it’s because it
doesn’t generate enough revenue for these big brands.

After I wrote this paragraph I found this Tweet from the
City of Melbourne
who quotes Kevin Murphy saying that ”It’s costing us about five
times more to be sustainable but it’s worth it.”

”It’s costing us about five times more
to be sustainable but it’s worth it.” Kevin Murphy discussing
the importance of brands putting sustainability first at the
Melbourne Fashion Week Fashion Forum.

— City of Melbourne (@cityofmelbourne)
September 2, 2019

Repurposing – We should do a lot more of

Repurposing is not something most of us often do. Can you count
the number of friends you have that resell on eBay, Facebook
Marketplace, Etsy and Gumtree? I can’t and instead I can count
the number of people known for showing off their unpacking/unboxing
videos, as well as praising others who line up hours (or even days)
to get the latest new release – I think this consumerism is so
sad and it will only get worse if we don’t change our

I’m not the best recycler, but I’m excellent at repurposing,
and one way I’d like to think I contribute to a more sustainable
way of life is by being able to resell almost everything I don’t
use from pre-loved wedding items (one of the reasons why I launched
our pre-loved wedding
), baby stuff right through to household items. If
we want to change the environment we live in changes must come from
within us.

I want to give a shout out to Collins Square for their
support behind this repurposing initiative called Wear for Success. I’ll
try to pop past and donate my unwanted clothes in the hope that
others may find my pieces helpful.


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Repurposing – We should do a lot more of it
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Emilia Rossi.

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