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City of Melville congratulates Renew by Riette for Switched on Business award

11 February 2021

Local online business Renew by Riette has been presented a Switched On Business award by Switch Your Thinking.

The City of Melville is proud to announce local online business Renew by Riette has been presented a Switched On Business award by Switch Your Thinking for integrating sustainable practices into her small business.

Renew by Riette business owner Riette McDonald sources textiles and glass from second-hand stores and repurposes them into aprons for children and adults, heat packs, urchin air plants and more, while also donating $1.00 from each sale over $20.00 to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

City of Melville Mayor the Hon. George Gear JP met up with Mrs McDonald in late 2020 to talk about the importance of sustainability and to sample some products, with sustainability being a key focus for the City

“Riette’s initiatives for her business have set the standard for sustainability in small businesses around Melville and aligns with our Clean and Green outcome, after ongoing consultation with the community identified that the improvement and sustainability of our environment is our key priority - informing our 2020-2024 Corporate Business Plan,” said Mayor Gear.

“It’s clear the way Riette talks about her business that sustainability is her core focus, so I’m very pleased that Switch Your Thinking can recognise businesses like hers so that we can grow our local economy in a way that aligns with our environmental goals.

“The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have supported our Clean and Green outcome, which has birthed initiatives under plans such as the Foreshore Restoration Strategy, Environmental Improvement Plan and the Urban Forest Strategy.”

Mrs McDonald said that her small business was all about removing “fast fashion” from people’s mindset when buying products, particularly clothing.

“I wanted to really focus on the re-use aspect as a focus for my business. I wanted to discourage the buying of ‘new’ things when the lifecycle of so many ‘waste’ items can be renewed with a little love,” said Mrs McDonald.

Renew by Riette’s main store operates on Etsy, but she also has products being stocked at The Lighting Club Collective in Cockburn Gateway.

Mrs McDonald’s award comes after the City of Melville was highly commended in the SDG Action Award Category by Smart City Council ANZ for its ‘Smart City, Smart Grids’ project, in partnership with Murdoch University.

The Smart City, Smart Grids system links hundreds of energy and water meters at public and City of Melville -owned facilities to an easy-to-understand analytics dashboard.

It allows the City to identify improvement opportunities for energy efficiency, water efficiency and energy security while aiding in quickly identifying faulty equipment.

 It also aids in optimal functioning and identifying the opportunities for further enhancing the solar PV and battery systems at City facilities.

Switch Your thinking is a green-living Local Government initiative that helps the people of Perth, the business community and Western Australian Councils to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to global efforts to secure a safe climate.

The program was founded by the City of Armadale, City of Gosnells and Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale in 2002 to help the community live more sustainably.

If you know a business that does a great job at integrating sustainability, refer them to the Switch Your Thinking website at

Riette McDonald available for interview upon request.

Image Caption: Mayor Gear donned a patterned apron while discussing with Riette McDonald how her products are made.

Video: Smart City, Smart Grids project

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