Power of Partnerships

The Power of Partnerships

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As the saying goes, ‘alone we are strong, but together we are stronger’, partnerships offer businesses the opportunity to pool resources, build on each other’s strengths and collaborate in new ways to get the best of both worlds.

Combining innovation, sustainability and digital to transform and renew e-commerce and bricks and mortar retailing. World’s Biggest Garage Sale has been pioneering the re-commerce revolution. Renewing, repurposing and repairing products to bring them new life and maximise their value within the economy. Reducing the negative impact the demand for new products has on our finite resources.

WBGS, and social enterprises like WBGS, are in the business of market-making, going where no business (or very few) have gone before to create radically new industries which are not only profitable but also create benefits for the economy, the community and the planet. This market-making isn’t being created in a vacuum. It is built on partnerships with major businesses who can support and benefit from the circular and sustainable initiatives social enterprises offer. 

In 2020, in the middle of the global pandemic, World’s Biggest Garage Sale not only launched and opened Australia’s first circular economy precinct in Brisbane, they also secured a resource recovery partnership with major national Australian retailer Officeworks.

Officeworks are committed to selling quality home and office furniture, but inevitably there is a small amount that may be unfit for sale due to damage incurred whilst in transit that would typically need to be disposed of in the landfill bin. To reduce the company’s environmental impact, they were looking for solutions that would enable their team to divert these products from landfill. It was a perfect fit with WBGS, whose mission is to activate the circular economy and dormant goods for good as a way to make purposeful profit that creates a positive impact on people and the planet.

This partnership is ground-breaking in its dynamic, goals and the broader impact it has created. In addition to diverting potential landfill, revolutionising people’s relationship with stuff, and having positive social and environmental impact, the partnership and support of Officeworks has helped WBGS grow. 

As a result the business has created job opportunities for marginalised and vulnerable Australians. 50% of WBGS’ workforce is now made up of vulnerable Australians. This gives vulnerable members of our community the chance to upskill, feel valued and like they belong to a part of a movement. Together Officeworks and WBGS are literally taking (potential waste) and turning it into wealth that is distributed across the entire community.

Recently, WBGS and Officeworks were awarded the Banksia Minister’s Award for the Environment for their partnership and the environmental impact their resource recovery co-initiatives have created in such a short space of time. 


Upcoming Future Industries Australia Webinar – The Power of Partnerships

Date: Thursday 3 June 2021
Time: 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Register here

The 17th UN Sustainable Development Goal recognizes the power and importance of partnerships to mobilize, share knowledge, expertise, technology and resources to support the achievement of a common goal. This session will explore the circular economy partnership between World’s Biggest Garage Sale and national Australian retailer Officeworks to demonstrate why the integration of creative collaborations should form a key part of an organisation’s scale-up strategy.

In particular, it will look at partnerships through the lens of building relationships between major corporate businesses and grassroots social enterprise to accelerate the circular economy and benefit local communities.

Combining innovation, sustainability and digital to transform and renew e-commerce and bricks and mortar retailing. World’s Biggest Garage Sale has been pioneering the re-commerce revolution. Renewing, repurposing and repairing products to bring them new life and maximise their value within the economy. Reducing the negative impact the demand for new products has on our finite resources.


About our speakers

Yasmin GrigaliunasYasmin Grigaliunas

Yasmin is an entrepreneur of impact, who loves people and has an innate passion to help others – it’s her native genius. She loves to win, but more importantly, she loves to see others win. She is currently CEO and Co-founder of the World’s Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS), and a circular economy pioneer in Australia, driving this industry forward by innovating, collaborating, connecting and mobilising multiple stakeholders towards a shared vision, all while providing social good. Strongly aligned with SDG12, WBGS is focused on SDG implementation, action (‘the doing’) and multi-stakeholder partnerships for the achievement of all Sustainable Development Goals. Energetic, authentic and an expert of execution, Yas is a master at enrolling talent, communicating long-term vision, and inspiring people along the journey. Yas and her organisation are living proof that you can provide positive impact for people, planet and profit for purpose.

Ryan Ryan Swenson

Ryan is the Head of Sustainable Development & Government Relations at Officeworks, helping shape the company’s long term sustainability and responsible sourcing strategy, whilst supporting the business to achieve their short term objectives. Ryan’s role includes leading Officeworks’ approach to upholding and respecting human rights across their global goods and services supply chain, and their response to environmental issues such as climate change, the transition to a circular economy and more sustainable purchasing.

Prior to this, Ryan was a Buying Manager for Global & Responsible Sourcing, with a background in buying across various retail sectors.

Ryan’s approach to solving complex social and environmental issues is to establish progressive partnerships, work collaboratively and think creatively. Being part of the solution is what motivates him each day.

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