Talking Clean with Irene
Why you should put secondhand first!
Oct 7, 2019 · 21 min
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We all know that sustainability is best when it’s fun and social. What if I told you there was an easy way to declutter, shop for bargains, connect with your community AND participate in the war on waste? Would you believe that you don’t even need to leave your street to participate?

Introducing: Garage Sale Trail — a weekend of garage sales on one weekend right across Australia. Last year alone over 3 million kilos of secondhand items were sold.

This week on the podcast, I talk to Andrew Valder (Co-founder of Garage Sale Trail) about this incredibly successful event.

Garage Sale Trail is a not for profit social enterprise which organises a yearly weekend of garage sales right across the country, with total support from local councils. Shining a spotlight on how important it is to reuse things and think about the waste that we create, this event also sounds like a heap of fun and a great way to get involved in your local community.

What started as a community event in Bondi Beach with the tag-line “Don’t Dump It, Sell It”, Andrew tells me his team realised what was needed was people coming together in their local area to declutter, to buy, to swap, to sell and to reduce waste.

In this episode I asked Andrew NOT to get me started on fast fashion, but we DID have a little chat about it (oops!). But I’m pleased to report that the rate of growth of secondhand fashion is outstripping the growth of fast fashion! We also talk about the concept of a circular economy versus a linear economy.

You can get involved by registering a garage sale on their website. And shoppers can find out what’s going on in their local area by searching the site. If you put your postcode or suburb in, the site will show you all the Garage Sales that are happening nearby.

It’s free to register, and this year it’s taking place on October 19 and 20. 

(P.S. If you’re in Sydney and have some vinyl to sell, get in touch and let me know!)


Key takeaways:

  1. Vinyl, homewares, clothes and textiles are the biggest sellers on Garage Sale Trail.
  2. An easy rule when thinking about giving away goods to an Op Shop is: ‘If you wouldn’t give it to a mate, don’t donate’.
  3. Every time we produce something it is either depleting the world’s resources or it’s creating carbon emissions, and the philosophy of “make, take and dispose” is adding to landfill. 
  4. Andrew and his team have just launched a new initiative called “Grow it Local” to encourage people to grow food locally. It’s for anyone from windowsill gardeners to people with a plot full of greens. Yay!
  5. The strangest things that Andrew has seen for sale are a yacht that was used in ‘The Great Gatsby’ and tanks from war museums. Some people even list their houses!


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