Go Green with Vinnies
In August 2020, Vinnies Victoria became the first major Australian social welfare charity to be certified carbon neutral under the Climate Active initiative, underpinned by the Australian government. 

In our ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, last year Vinnies Victoria – through our iconic Vinnies Shops – sold almost 11 million items and garments to 3+ million customers (which directly allowed us to provide $1.7 million of welfare to the people we assist).

We will continue to look for, and invest in, initiatives that help us further reduce our carbon footprint.

Below are just a few of our current initiatives:

Recycling denim: re-UP bags 

Vinnies Victoria has become a charity partner with re-UP bags, where we contribute some of our discarded denim and Manchester to the process of creating the fun, upcycled and recycled bags. A simple concept with a big impact! 

About a year in the making, our organisations came together to work on designs that are functional and fashionable. Selected ranges can be found across all our Victorian shops, as we are proudly the first retailer to launch these products in-store. This helps us to contribute to the circular economy by helping save these denim items from potentially becoming landfill in Victoria. 

Goes solar 

Vinnies Oakleigh is the first of our shops to go live with solar panels following an innovative project developed by the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria.

The project being carried out in conjunction with AGL Australia through a 10-year contract will see 91 solar installations completed for Vinnies across its network of shops. It is anticipated that the solar panels being installed across the organisation’s shops and facilities will save $1.26 million in energy bills that will be diverted into the hands of Victorians in need. 

Eco-friendly Gift Cards

Vinnies gift cards are being given a makeover. Out with the plastic and in with our new environmentally-friendly gift card made from 100% recycled fibre, that also have an oxo-biodegradable coating. These cards are the next step in environmental sustainability gift cards and will be rolled out across our Vinnies Shop network. Vinnies Shops will also have a Gift Card Deposit Box so when the card has been used, it can easily be recycled.

Battery Deposit Scheme 

The addition of a new green box at our local Vinnies Shops signalled the arrival of a new recycling initiative – our Battery Deposit Scheme – that we were very proud to announce during National Recycling Week 2021. Most batteries contain hazardous materials that can pollute the environment when disposed of through landfills or thrown out elsewhere. Materials that make up a battery include lead, cadmium and mercury which can poison people and animals, contaminate soils and water, not to mention they stay in the environment for a very long time.The good news is a battery can be recycled an indefinite number of times if they are responsibly disposed of – and now you have an easy way to do that! 

Working with Envirostream in Vinnies shops across Victoria, now sits a green deposit bin that has been specially designed to recycle batteries! 

Reusable Vinnies Bags 

In an effort to eliminate single-use plastic bags, our Vinnies Shops introduced the Vinnies reusable bags in 2019.

Two years after implementation, the majority of our repeat customers are successfully using these recyclable bags that have been provided to them and have learnt to re-use the bag for many purposes – reducing plastic bag usage throughout their lives, reducing landfill and wildlife issues. All funds raised from their sale go towards our community programs dedicated to supporting Victorians in need. 

Stay tuned for more!