Hand over your old ski jacket to warm the homeless

Photo by Humans of Melbourne

Winter sport enthusiasts are getting ready to upgrade their gear ready for next season while men, women and children face chilling winter nights without shelter. The next few months will see powder snow on the mountains and street lives lost or threatened by the freezing nights.

The team at XTM Performance invite Australians to re-home their second hand winter jackets to bring some warmth to those who need it the most this winter.

“If you are living on the streets, a jacket that might be sitting at the back of someone’s closet can make it a little more bearable out there, especially on those really cold and wet nights,” XTM Performance founder and CEO Pete Forras said.

This winter, the socially-conscious label will partner with their retailers and a group of organisations in the hope of collecting 10,000 second-hand winter jackets from around Australia. New partners Anaconda will have collection points at all their stores nationally while 2016 charity partners Anonymous X and Hutt St Centre will get the jackets to the people who need it most.

“We want people to give their old jackets a second chance – get them to the collection sites and on the backs of our friends on the streets as soon as we can,” Forras said.

“Winter really puts a spotlight on the divide between those who have all the luxuries and those who are in need. We have the ability to redistribute and reconnect between these social extremes. We are hoping to get people pulling out their old winter jackets and bringing them into our retail partners’ stores where they can make a little difference to people’s lives.”

The Torquay beach based company launched its national XTM Heat the Homeless initiative for the first time in 2016.

“It just made sense to us – we thought, ‘there are so many high quality jackets now, some only getting a few weeks of wear before being replaced. It would be great to get more life out of these products we are making and get a few hundred of those out to people who could use a warm jacket this winter’,” explains Forras.

Humans in Melbourne and Melbourne I Love You founder Chris Cincotta has also played a big part in making sure that as many Australians reconsider binning their old jackets in favour or re-homing, getting the word out via his huge social following.

Two days in and a post on Cincotta’s Humans In Melbourne page later, the 2016 target had been smashed with collection points inundated with donated jackets. By the end of winter, more than 2,500 jackets were handed out to men, women and children sleeping rough on Australian streets.

In 2017, they hope to get four times as many second hand jackets out warming bodies on Australian streets.

How do I donate my old winter jackets?

To donate to XTM’s Heat the Homeless initiative, you can either send your jacket to the XTM Performance team directly at PO Box 422, Torquay VIC 3228 or visit www.xtm.com.au/heat-the-homeless/ for more distribution sites and information.


Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017, a former columnist for Mountainwatch and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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