A former office in the backstreets of Cremorne has become a temporary hub for creative thinkers focused on sustainability and climate action. From community members to activists, artists, grassroots organisations and businesses, Space of Waste welcomes all who are committed to making a difference in the climate crisis.

Its founders, Tim McNamara of start-up studio Alleyoop and Andrew Mackinnon of creative agency The Taboo Group, connected over shared visions of a sustainable future. They’ve assembled a co-working space and collaborative hub where changemakers can converge, share ideas and co-create initiatives that tackle climate change head-on.

Current creative companies working from the hub include Dodgy Paper and Lousy Ink, which specialise in upcycling waste into artist-quality paper and ink. Their project, The People’s Batch Cremorne – which recycles waste paper and printer cartridges donated by the local community – is currently on display in the space.

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Also based out of the hub is Cirque du Soil, which is investigating – through AI technology placed in local venues Lilac Wine and Green-On salad bar – how food waste can be transformed into new usable products.  

The site was constructed entirely with salvaged materials from sources like the NGV’s Alexander McQueen exhibition and Rising Festival. It will later be re-developed as Matter House, a sustainable office tower due for completion in 2026.

The space also serves as a dynamic experiential site, fostering collaboration, upcycling and education on alternative materials and future thinking. “Beyond being a hub for our community, Space of Waste is a catalyst for change and an ideas incubator. From the Impact Speaker series [which will soon be announced on Instagram] to engaging workshops, screenings and exhibits, the lab fosters community, creativity and actions towards a sustainable future,” says Mackinnon.

By focusing primarily on the local community, Space of Waste hopes to build an understanding of what can be done collaboratively to reduce carbon emissions in the area and measure the collective impact. Local residents and businesses are invited to share their suggestions, data and actions, and Alleyoop will embark on a project to see how much can be achieved within the suburb.

“Cremorne has over 700 businesses, accounting for multi-billions in revenue. Let’s start with one single suburb and see what impact we can have. We then need to do it another 15,352 times across Australia,” says McNamara.

The lab is also hosting 28 students from University of Melbourne’s sustainability scholarship, the Wattle Fellowship, who are working towards solutions for the planet.

Other eco-conscious contributors to the space include reuse initiative Returnr; textile recovery and recycling company Upparel; artist Joshua Space, who's creating works from plastic; and Fungi Solutions, a social enterprise creating packaging materials out of mushrooms.

Space of Waste is open Thursday to Saturday each week from 10am to 4pm. Complimentary coffee from neighbouring roaster Niccolo and package-free snacks by Gram Sustainable are on offer in the kitchen space.

@alleyoop.world