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Aussie fashion brands pledge action toward sustainability

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By Published On: June 9, 20230 Comments

Some of Australia’s major fashion brands have signed up as members of the newly launched National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme.

Launched this week by the Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, the National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme (NCPSS) is set to drive Australia’s fashion industry towards clothing circularity by 2030. Titled Seamless, the scheme was created by a Consortium led by the Australian Fashion Council with Charitable Recycling Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Sustainable Resource Use and WRAP Asia Pacific.

THE ICONIC, David Jones, Lorna Jane, Rip Curl, R.M. Williams and Big W have each pledged $100,000 to fund a 12-month transition phase while a new Seamless scheme is established. The NSW Environment Protection Authority is also contributing $100,000 to the transition phase as a supporting partner.

200,000 tonnes of clothing currently goes to Australian landfill each year. If industry signs up to the scheme, the activities driven by Seamless, stakeholders and citizens are projected to divert 60 percent of end-of-life clothing from landfill by 2027.

Incentives the scheme encourages to achieve this goal are: clothing design that is more durable, repairable, sustainable and recyclable, fostering circular business models for Australian fashion based on reuse, repair, re-manufacturing and rental, expanding clothing collection and sorting for effective re-use and to ensure non-wearable clothes are recycled into new high value products and materials, and encouraging citizen behaviour change for clothing acquisition, use, care and disposal.

The Australian Fashion Council reports that if just 60 percent of the market by volume sign up to the scheme, a funding pool of $36 million will be raised per year to transform the industry.

“Seamless will guide the transition from the current unsustainable linear model of take, make and dispose, to a circular economy of reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Leila Naja Hibri, CEO of the Australian Fashion Council. “We need to start transitioning to the wardrobe of the future, where clothes are acquired differently, loved for longer and recirculated with care. This systematic and seismic transformation will require courage, creativity and most importantly, collaboration.”

“We need to act now. Our industry, and most importantly our planet, depends on it,” she said.

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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