It all began in August 2019 with a conversation about the good fabric going to landfill from opportunity shops (That's NZ speak for thrift or charity shops)
After some thought and a meeting over coffee by three of us, it was decided that we should try to do something, working with our local Salvation Army Family Store.
Fortunately the Northland Area manager for the Whangarei Salvation Army Family Store was fully on board, and has been super supportive ever since (thanks Nick), giving us a space to work from.
We quickly moved to developing a name and logo (the logo happened to be on a jacket that Jenny Hill, idea initiator and textile artist, had already upcycled).
A Facebook page soon followed (thanks Carol), with requests to join rolling in from around the world. Many of our volunteers, currently numbering around 30 in the six months that we've been going have come from the Facebook page.
The plan of what to do with the rescued textiles has evolved from there. Jenny fully admits that she just wanted to save the good stuff - the cotton, silk, wool, denim etc - and make beautiful things from it. After all - that is her calling.
Sherie and I just wanted to save as much from waste as possible - so this is where the other side of Intercept comes from - the clothing and bedding that doesn't meet Jenny's criteria for upcycling, but is still good.
We called on all the social services that we could, helped massively by the arrival of one of our volunteers, Daniela, who works in that area and has a lot of contacts and knowledge. Daniela now manages this side of Intercept, where a lot of textiles are donated to those in need.
Fast forward to the idea of opening a shop within the Salvation Army Family Store for the upcycled products; clothing labels and swing tags printed - and an opening soon!