The Australian Fashion Council will lead the nation’s first National Product Stewardship Scheme for clothing textiles, aimed at improving the design, recovery, reuse and recycling of textiles.
Launching in November 2021 and ending in March 2023, the scheme will provide a roadmap to hit ‘clothing circularity’ in Australia by 2030, in line with the National Waste Policy Action Plan targets, and is powered by a $1 million grant from the Federal Government.
“We have long needed an industry-led solution that actively involves all key stakeholders, defines their responsibility and provides clear action to achieve a circular clothing economy,” said AFC acting CEO Kellie Hush.
“Everyone has a responsibility to make and buy better. This scheme is critical to creating a sustainable textile industry in Australia, and in turn will also create significant opportunities to drive innovation, better business and the creation of new jobs and skill sets for Australians.”
The the scheme will see the AFC act in consortium with Charitable Recycling Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Sustainable Resource Use and WRAP to identify, educate, empower and activate all stakeholders to better manage the damaging impacts of textile waste.
Australia is one of the largest consumers of clothing and textiles in the world, yet only seven per cent of clothing is recycled, according to Federal Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley.
“We want this scheme to better protect the environment by creating clothing in a more thoughtful manner, designed for durability, designing for less waste and choosing fibers for future recyclability.”
The National Retail Association and Australian Retailers Associations will also collaborate on the scheme, alongside the Australian Council of Recycling and Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association Australia.
The AFC is open to expressions of interest for more businesses and organisations to be involved.