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Cooee Clothing’s Merica Kerwin and CatholicCare Wilcannia Forbes’ Christine L’Estrange and some of the clothing stocked at the store (CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes)

Residents of Wilcannia, a small town in northwestern New South Wales, can now shop locally for affordable and stylish clothes thanks to a new recycled clothing store set up by CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes. 

Cooee Clothing had its first trading days last month and attracted residents needing a wardrobe refresh.

The social enterprise stocks recycled clothing for women, children, and men, as well as a small selection of accessories and gift items.  

CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes chief executive officer Anne-Marie Mioche said the organisation had started the recycled fashion store to meet a community need.

“Clothing is an essential item but until now there’s been no local shop selling clothing,” Ms Mioche said. “We have started this store within our branch to make quality clothing available at an affordable price.”

The recycled clothing store complements another CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes Cooee social enterprise. Cooee Cuts is an affordable hair salon that operates one week every month from the CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes branch office, which is where Cooee Clothing is also located.

The Cooee social enterprises are funded by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Office for Women and Catholic charity Mary Ward International Australia.

The initiatives provide training for women and girls in the areas of life skills and job readiness, in communities that often lack those opportunities.

“In our first days of trade we have received great feedback about the quality, range and pricing of items for sale,” Ms Mioche said.

“Community members have also had the chance to say hello to our social enterprise assistant Merica, who has been recruited for the fashion store.”


CatholicCare Wilcannia Forbes – Store opens at Wilcannia to offer affordable quality clothing locally (CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes)