Doing ‘good’ with your towels

May 8, 2022 BY

A classic bucket hat design. Photo: GOOD TOWELS

Torquay business Good Towels is on a mission to create apparel from unwanted products and set up a new grant system called ‘Grommet Grant’ to spark the next generation of start-up entrepreneurs.

During the pandemic, founder Margie Ardano discovered each Australian household had between two and five unused towels that were being dumped into landfill every year.

The Good Towels crew decided to create a positive change by producing clothing items that follow a circular economy and the sustainable principles of upcycling.
With more than 26 million people living in Australia, Ardano figured there were millions of unwanted towels that could be recycled.

“We came to exist in order to create positive change in producing creative products such as bucket hats and surf ponchos through the circular economy and their own sustainable principles by using what is already being used rather than creating from virgin materials,” he said.

“Throughout lockdown in Torquay, I was organising to collect as many towels as I possibly could to stop them from entering landfill, which meant by the end of two years I had so many towels in my home that my household of three couldn’t even walk through the house, coming in contact with the mess all over the floor.”

The Torquay-based team led by Ardano believed that upcycling needed to become the default choice in fashion and production going forward.

“Prior to the pandemic I had spent plenty of time studying circular and recyclable economy methods up in Mullimbimby in Northern NSW and at a festival called Renewfest, which took place in Byron Bay,” Ardano said.

“The festival really shed light on all the negatives of the current fashion and manufacturing landscape that I had previously been a part of and from there I knew it was time for us to make a change for the greater good.”

From exuberant bright and colourful hats for adults and pieces fit for a toddler, the Good Towels crew has got something for everyone, including one-of-a-kind ponchos.

The Good Towels team recently set up the Grommet Grant process, which sees $5 from every sale go towards a community grant that helps to facilitate change through youth activism.

Young people aged 16 and under can apply for the Grommet Grant to help facilitate an entrepreneurial idea which aims to make the world a better place.

“We were eager to get our stars of tomorrow involved in a positive cause that will help facilitate ideas and plans around having a better and brighter world,” Ardano said.

The mission of the campaign is to raise $12,000 to issue a dozen $1,000 grants to youths or groups that meet the grant application criteria.

Ideas could range from an innovative business idea through to ‘Pick up litter at the local beach day’ events or ‘Native tree planting initiatives’.

Once Good Towels reaches Grommet Grant’s $12,000 target, young people across the Surf Coast will be able to submit ideas for judging and selection.

Judges for the grant applications are Surfers for Climate CEO Josh Kirkman and Tree Creds founder Christopher Coe.

For more information about the Good Towel group, head to goodtowels.com.au.


Behind the scenes with Good Towels. Photo: SUPPLIED
In the warehouse with Good Towels. Photo: SUPPLIED