The Garage Sale Trail is about sustainability, community and fun.

By getting people together to turn their old stuff into someone else’s new stuff, the day not only proves that second hand items can still have value, it keeps rubbish off the street, removes clutter from cupboards, stops a bunch of new things being brought into the world (along with the environmental impact that creates) and gives everyone good reason to meet the neighbours and have a good natter at the same time.

The Garage Sale Trail started as a pilot project in Bondi, Sydney, Australia in May 2010. We discovered that by bringing together local government, media, business and community we could build bridges between groups and have some serious impact at the same time. On the day there were 126 garage sales across the suburb, each selling an average of $750 worth of goodies. The ATMs in the area ran out of money, thousands of people walked the trail and we estimate that around 15 shipping containers of goods were bought and sold. That’s 15 shipping containers worth, which would otherwise have stayed in cupboards or, no doubt, eventually gone to landfill.

The Garage Sale is run by a collaboration of Darryl Nichols (Big Cheese on the project), Andrew Valder from Rodriguez (Brand Wranglers) and Ben Peacock and Matt Perry from Republic of Everyone (Sustainability Agency).

The project overview and why it is critical in 4 points:

  1. The open-sourced nature of the project which allows for collaboration among real as well as online communities via word-of-mouth and social media
  2. Cultural relevance and ease of interpretation by various sub-cultures
  3. An apolitical and practical approach to sustainability that is outcomes-based and participatory
  4. It provides an engaging meta-narrative that enables a diverse range of organisations including government, NGO, business and the media to adapt and repurpose for their own audiences.