MercyCare rolls out new uniform with a strong sustainable twist
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > MercyCare rolls out new uniform with a strong sustainable twist

MercyCare rolls out new uniform with a strong sustainable twist

by Freya Lucas

March 07, 2024

Team members across the MercyCare Early Learning network are sporting a new uniform which uses a unique design concept uniting Aboriginal artwork and MercyCare’s early learning philosophy with a sustainable twist. 


While the out-dated uniforms were collected when the new uniform came in, many staff expressed a concern about the environmental impact of throwing them away, given that Australia is already the second highest consumer of textiles worldwide. 


“Respect for the environment and ecological behaviour are both key values and ethos shapers for our organisation, so we knew we had to find a sustainable solution,” a MercyCare spokesperson noted.


Early Learning Services Mission and Strategy Project Lead Courtney Barnard engaged and collaborated with Eco Warriors from each of the MercyCare centres to brainstorm potential solutions, impacts and outcomes.


Collectively the team decided that Loop Upcycling would be engaged to help bring the vision to life.


Loop Upcycling will be taking the old uniforms and transforming them into waist bags – a practical item hotly requested by the educators. The waist bags are used to hold work devices and other essential items while the educators work directly with children. Any excess fabric can also be recycled into other products such as carpet tiles, pin boards, and other items to divert waste away from landfill.


Loop Upcycling are a local social enterprise focusing on creating an environmentally friendly circular textile economy that also contributes to positive social impact. Since 2021, Loop has been working with the MercyCare Multicultural Services team to offer employment and training programs for asylum seekers, new migrants, refugees and other individuals supported by MercyCare’s broader operations.


While working with Loop participants learn and upskill in pattern making, sewing and other manufacturing tasks and business skills during the five week program before transitioning into paid work with Loop. It not only provides vital social connections, it promotes the financial freedom and ability to support their families.


This new project has been made possible thanks to a $4995 contribution by the MercyCare CEO Innovation Fund, awarded to Early Learning Services. This means the project is fully funded, enabling MercyCare to upcycle and receive the bags from Loop without any additional cost.

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