Southbank’s winter wonderland with gardening, games, and green fashion

Southbank’s winter wonderland with gardening, games, and green fashion

Rahul Sujan & Seema Misra Thakur

Winter has well and truly arrived in our neighbourhood, and the Southbank Sustainability Group (SSG) community gardeners have welcomed it.

After a few weeks of rest and rejuvenation, our garden beds are now ready for winter planting. The gardening team has been busy raking and sweeping leaves from around the beds, weeding, applying mulch, and fertilising seedlings with worm juice in preparation for winter.

To make our worm farms more comfortable during the colder months, we have added two new worm mats. We welcome all suggestions and comments and look forward to catching up.

Winter days call for indoor activities and warm interactions with friends, accompanied by the ubiquitous Melbourne coffee and hot chocolate. In the winter spirit, on the first Saturday of the month, 16 members of the SSG gathered to play the Adaptation Game (TAG) while our dedicated gardeners tended to the outdoor gardens.

The TAG game is a playful and interactive way to discuss climate adaptation in extreme weather situations and educate us on preparedness for weather-related emergencies.

During the two-and-a-half-hour gameplay, the four teams role-played, time-travelled a few decades into the future, and worked out the best ways to address climate events and connect with our neighbours in high-rise buildings. In the coming months, this game will be open to more community members and all residents of the buildings.

On June 22, Jo Carney of the sustainable fashion brand Audrey and Grace presented an enlightening session on ethical and environmentally friendly fashion choices. The event delved into the realities of the fast fashion industry, offering insights on adopting slow fashion practices and supporting a predominantly female workforce.

Jo Carney covered topics such as the definition of sustainable fashion, her journey towards it, the contrast between fast and slow fashion, and the impact of choices and mindset on sustainability. She highlighted that Australians buy an average of 56 new clothing items annually, making Australia the world’s largest per capita consumer of textiles, with over 200,000 tonnes of clothing ending up in landfills each year.

The event featured a display of sustainable clothing options and concluded with a Q&A session, encouraging participants to make conscious fashion choices and be part of the solution to fast fashion.

Focusing on sustainability and fashion, here are eight simple tips for staying stylish and sustainable with your winter fashion in Melbourne:

  • Use natural fibres: wool, cotton, bamboo for warmth and sustainability.
  • Shop second-hand: explore op-shops and vintage stores for unique finds.
  • Support local designers: buy from ethical, local fashion brands and designers.
  • Invest in quality: choose durable, long-lasting winter clothing pieces.
  • Repair and upcycle: fix or transform old garments into new favourites.
  • Wash with care: wash less, use cold water, and air dry.
  • Host clothing swaps: swap clothes with friends to refresh your wardrobe.
  • Responsible decluttering: donate or recycle unwanted clothes responsibly in Melbourne.

Upcoming events

We have no scheduled events for July but stay tuned for events in August to round out the winter.

About the group

SSG is a solution-focused community group of Southbank residents, working to bring positive change in sustainability practices. Email us. •

Join our Facebook Group