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Author: Yasmin Grigaliunas

QODE: Trial by Fire – Environmental Challenges Unearth Rewards

This month has been a busy one for us here at World’s Biggest Garage Sale as it no doubt has been for you. After wrapping up our Retail Rescue and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been no slowing down! Last week Yas was invited to deliver her Trial by Fire: Social and Environmental Challenges Unearth Global Rewards’ keynote speech at the QODE Brisbane 2020 event. Yas was a spokesperson for those impact and social ventures (like World’s Biggest Garage Sale) whose driving force is the ‘profit for purpose’ sentiment.

QODE is an annual event hosted in Brisbane with the purpose of promoting technology and innovation. The two-day conference sees a host of pioneering individuals speak about their contributions to the future of our planet. Like all conferences recently, QODE was impacted by COVID-19. Normally held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre with a live audience, due to the current health crisis audience members were not able to physically attend. Rising to the challenge, the organisers transformed QODE into a ‘virtual exhibition’ with the full program being streamed via their YouTube channel. Users could view the entire event safely and from the comfort of their own home.

Sharing valuable insights, Yas spoke on the importance of the triple bottom line – people, planet and purpose. Connecting with community to work towards collective goals such as a circular economy for the good of the planet. These entrepreneurial minds are ‘doing the smallest of things with the biggest of impact’ and have conducted their business in a way which makes them well-prepared for this time of social and environmental challenge.

‘We are the problem solvers that don’t necessarily look for profit in order to begin, in order to stay…’

Yas articulated that companies like World’s Biggest Garage Sale and many more are motivated by a bigger purpose. They’re working on ‘The World’s To Do List’, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designed to make the Earth a better place by 2030. And that by forming a collaboration between government, corporate and startup enterprise, we can create a ‘uniquely diverse ecosystem’ focused on ‘coming together to stay together, to grow together’.

Trial by Fire: Yas presenting SDG goals

‘Connectedness, collaboration and community – this is how we do business’

and it’s this notion that helps ventures like World’s Biggest Garage Sale thrive in times of challenge. Being grateful for the community that is central to World’s Biggest Garage Sale and so many impact and social ventures, is so important right now. Intrinsically valuing the people who dedicate their time to triple bottom line businesses. And never more was this on show than when Dr Sarah Pearson, Deputy Director General of Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, donned a World’s Biggest Garage Sale shirt (on sale currently), showing that community support!

Yas & Leanne presenting

Leanne Kemp, Queensland Chief Entrepreneur also spoke, and was so empowering, reassuring and hopeful! Speaking about COVID-19, she said our QLD entrepreneurs are leading an incredible purpose driven culture, with clear human focus. Her  3 P strategy, “Pivot, Persevere and Pirouette” can help entrepreneurs ensure they keep their teams.

Many see that this crisis is a key leadership moment not only for them, but for them to help others.

Speaking to the ‘trial by fire’ social climate at present, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Yas stated, ‘if the current pandemic can teach us anything, it’s perhaps that we all need to slow down to speed up’. And it is true that the ‘noise’ of everyday life can distract us from achieving big picture goals or even working towards small actions. The time bestowed upon us at the moment is a ‘blessing in disguise’ to allow us to set our intentions for positive change. Stay safe, healthy and optimistic – we can build the new economy together.

If you would like to support World’s Biggest Garage Sale venture – please reach out to Yas at info@worldsbiggestgaragesale.com.au today.

Quiet Heroes: Volunteer Firefighters embody true leadership

It’s hard to know what to say in the face of the bushfire crisis in Australia. We’ve written about it before and been warned by experts both scientific and in the fire fighting arena to expect it. But it’s another thing altogether when it actually comes to pass.

With 26 lives lost, over a thousand houses gone and significant damage to communities and infrastructure, it’s hard not to despair. Add to this the fact that over 8.5 million hectares of Australian land and flora have already burned – more than the Amazon and Californian fires combined – and an estimated half a billion animals have been killed in New South Wales alone, it’s clear to see the path to recovery will be a long and committed one. And the fires are still burning.

Out of all of this has emerged a group of quiet heroes – Volunteer Firefighters.

In their trademark orange/yellow suits and hats with sturdy boots, hose in hand against a backdrop of unforgiving blazes, they have quietly soldiered on to keep our communities safe. They literally are the salt of the earth.

Having worked with volunteers for many years, we have witnessed the quiet selflessness that these people bring. They come along guided by something bigger than themselves and offer true acts of service. Australia would be a very different country without them.

The volunteer firefighter appears to be a rare and special breed and their work never ceases to amaze. Work that is hard, back-breaking, dangerous, strenuous and at times heartbreaking, takes a special kind of person.

They have always been there, every year, every fire season, quietly managing the fires and keeping the general populous from harm. Their untiring efforts in the face of this year’s unprecedented infernos are the humbling quiet acts of service that demand immense gratitude and respect.

We could all take a leaf out of their books – both government, business and community. There is no greater example of the Australian spirit and true leadership than selfless acts of service to help others, the animals and the land on which we live.

And it’s more of this that we’re going to need in the coming months and years as we set about the changes needed to address #climatechange this decade. Less bickering. A bi-partisan approach. Committed effort together for actionable solutions.

To our quiet heroes – all the volunteer firefighters of Australia, your example points to the latent capabilities of generosity that lie within us all. Thank you for reminding us that true leadership is an act of service to others.

Retail’s new disruptor? The resale market!

We’ve known it was coming for a long time! Watch out fast fashion, second-hand clothing is about to overtake you.

According to Scott Galloway New York University business professor and renowned tech pundit, “The new disrupter in retail, the new gangster that’s going to create hundreds of billions in shareholder value is the second-hand resale market.” And who’s driving it? Young people according to Mr Galloway.

Resale statistics

The predicted growth of the secondhand fashion market versus fast fashion. Source: Section4

Yas with one of the first shoppers at If the Shoe Fits

Yas with one of our first shoppers!!

And this concurs with other research we’ve been finding. The resale apparel industry is growing 21x faster than the standard retail apparel industry (thredUP) and millennials are cashing in. 61% of millennials sold something in the last year, compared to 54% of Gen X and 51% of baby boomers. The number of people selling second hand clothing, homewares, games and toys and electronic goods has doubled since 2011 (Gumtree, SHE report), with clothing, shoes and accessories now the most popular items to sell.

Further research from the US indicates that the second-hand clothing market will grow from $US24 billion ($35.5 billion) in the US in 2018, to $US64 billion by 2028. While fast fashion will continue to grow it won’t be at the same rate – from $US35 billion to $US44 billion in 2028.

Now is the time for businesses to be innovating and providing options for consumers to buy second-hand products. In a survey by Amplify talking to 2000 Australians aged 18 to 30, “1 in 3 felt passionately about the environment and sustainability, demonstrating they are actively trying to tackle this problem.”

34% also believe brands should be leading the way when it comes to saving the Planet, with 4 out of 10 want the brands they buy to make the world better and almost the same want the brands they buy to reflect their values.

If the Shoe Fits Popup StoreAnd given the success of ‘If The Shoe Fits’, Brisbane’s first Circular Economy Pop-up, in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD at the Wintergarden this Brisbane Fashion Month the research appears to match resale market demand!

Drop in and visit our friendly team at shop 14 in the Brisbane Wintergarden  for the new circular economy way of shopping – putting your money towards people, planet and purpose!