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About Our Campaign
Bower Reuse & Repair Centres has served as a community leader in sustainable living for 23 years. We now find ourselves at a critical juncture: we must move our flagship store and head office to a bigger home, and we need your help!
Since we began operations in 1998, The Bower has pioneered new approaches to waste minimisation and sustainable living, diverting almost 2.5 million kilograms of goods from landfill, campaigning for a shift in our ‘throw away’ culture, bringing back the art of repair, and helping hundreds of individuals and families in need.
But in less than 6 months, on December 1st, The Bower’s lease of our original Marrickville home comes to an end.
The time has come for the Bower to grow up and move out. It’s bitter-sweet.
The good news is that with the support of Inner West Council, we’ve found a new, bigger home that is fit-for-purpose.
But we need your help to make it possible.
Please give today and help us raise $25,000 (edit: We did it! Help us reach our ‘stretch target’ of $30,000) before the end of June, to support The Bower’s big new move into a bigger, brighter future. A better future for our environment and our community.
All donations made to The Bower are tax-deductible and can be made securely online.
The Bower’s new centre will be centrally located and close to major transport routes. It has 80% more floor space than our current Marrickville site.
This means that with your help to fund our move, we can do new, bigger and better things for the environment and community we love.
Kilograms of items diverted from landfill
Electrical Items Repaired
Store donations received
Individuals assisted through our Education Programs and Reuse Database
How Far We’ve Come
In 1998, a small group of local community members, appalled by the amount of ‘hard’ waste going to landfill each year and passionate about finding a more sustainable way of living, built Sydney’s first commercial strawbale building (using reclaimed building materials including doors, windows, and roofing in addition to the straw bale blocks) on the site of an old army barrack in Marrickville.
Over the last 23 years, the Bower has been a leader in innovative community approaches to waste minimisation, through the repairing, repurposing or rehoming (donating) of everyday household items, rather than throwing them out and creating more landfill.
We focus on little things that make a big difference, which, with a bit of support and education, we can all do.
We have built partnerships with 21 councils across Sydney to run our free ‘Collection & Rehoming Service’, now servicing more than 2.5 million residents.
In 2014 we launched Australia’s first community repair café with technicians on hand to advise and assist members of the community to fix dodgy small electrical items, rickety tables and chairs, and wobbly bicycles.
In 2016, we established our ‘House to Home’ program, which empowers survivors of domestic violence, refugees, and others in need to choose donated furnishings and household items to transform their new accommodation into a true home – a win-win for the community and environment.
We now divert more than 170,000kg of ‘hard’ materials from landfills each year.
A New Era
The Marrickville home that has served The Bower so well, is now holding us back. Our barn is no longer fit for purpose; the huge growth in the second hand and reuse markets we’ve helped to create has pushed us to the limit of our physical location.
For the past 2 years, we’ve been unable to run our Repair Café or other workshops at our Marrickville home. We’ve been unable to negotiate long-term solutions to these problems with our current landlord, and the clock is ticking on our existing lease.
The Bower has set aside significant resources for our move, but we need to raise an extra $25,000 by the end of June to complete the relocation as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We must fully refurbish our new premises, making them fit-for-purpose so we can hit the ground running in Summer Hill as soon as possible.
Help us do it!
At our new centre, we will be able to offer a fully integrated service under one roof: a shop, repair services, and community & educational programs. We will be able to provide our community with a ‘one-stop sustainability shop’ where people can bring items to be fixed at our repair cafés, look for hardware items and furnishings to take home, and donate items that are no longer needed and more.
The Bower will be joined by other like-minded organisations at our new site to create a centralised sustainability hub. A culture of collaboration and ideas-exchange will develop, providing a destination for individuals, families, community groups and organisations that are passionate about sustainable living.
What Does This Mean?
* More items will be diverted from landfill – once the new facility is fully operational it is estimated that an additional 138,000kg may be diverted from landfill by The Bower each year;
* We will be able to provide more efficient collection services (collecting more items from more people, faster);
* Greater impacts felt through the increased efficiency of The Bower’s outreach programs (helping the community better, and helping more people in need);
Please donate now to help the Bower move to a new, bigger home, and begin a new era where we can grow to achieve bigger things for our community and precious environment.