Today, we're diving into an exciting and inspiring update from this week about the efforts of Australian fashion brands to embrace sustainability. With the fashion industry notorious for its environmental impact, it's refreshing to witness big brands pledging their commitment to a greener future…
Buckle up, because we're about to explain it and what this means for Australian fashion by 2023... yes, this year!
The Power of Stewardship
As you may know, Australia's love for fashion comes at a cost: an average of 56 clothing items per person each year, most of which are made from non-sustainable materials. Unfortunately, welack a systematic approach to handling unwearable clothing, leading to clothing waste becoming a significant contributor to our waste crisis. But there's hope on the horizon. Aa a revolutionary transformation will begin as several renowned brands sign up for the newly launched National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme, Seamless.
Seamless represents a remarkable shift in the fashion landscape. Acknowledging fashion and clothing brands to hold responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their garments, from design to recycling or sustainable disposal.
The newly introduced Stewardship is set to drive Australia’s fashion industry towards clothing circularity by 2030 and has proposed that If the industry signs up to the scheme, the activities driven by Seamless, stakeholders and citizens are projected to divert 60 per cent of the 200,000 tonnes of clothing currently going to Australian landfill by 2027.
Leading the Way
Brands such as THE ICONIC, David Jones, Lorna Jane, Rip Curl, R.M. Williams and Big W form the foundation members of Seamless, playing a vital role during the 12-month transition phase as the initiative establishes itself as a catalyst for positive change.The NSW Environment Protection Authority is also contributing $100,000 to the transition phase as a supporting partner.
The goal is to implement sustainable practices at various stages of the fashion supply chain. From sourcing materials to production processes, packaging, and even disposal, every aspect is being reevaluated with an eco-conscious lens. By opting for organic and recycled materials, reducing water consumption, and minimising waste, these brands are determined to redefine the meaning of "fashion-forward."
Empowering Transformation Through Funding
Seamless proposes a scheme design that involves a 4-cent per garment levy paid by clothing brands and retailers who join the initiative. With a goal of achieving 60% market participation, this funding mechanism has the potential to generate a remarkable $36 million annually, empowering transformative changes within the industry.
What makes this movement even more exciting is the collaboration between these fashion brands. Recognising the power of unity, they have joined forces to tackle the sustainability challenges together. By sharing knowledge, resources, and best practices, they are fostering a conscious community, working shoulder to shoulder toward a common goal.
But sustainability isn't just limited to these behind-the-scenes efforts. These brands will also need to be making it a point to educate and engage their customers, our favourite part. By communicating the importance of sustainable fashion and providing transparent information about their practices, they are empowering consumers to make informed choices and understand that their style is making a positive impact.
Envisioning the Wardrobe of the Future
Though the surface appearance may remain similar, the wardrobe of the future will be a testament to responsible stewardship and citizenship, permeating every aspect of the fashion value chain. It will feature fewer, but longer-lasting garments crafted from renewable fibres, with second-hand items and rental sources contributing to a more sustainable fashion landscape. Even traditionally less durable items, like underwear, will be made from recycled materials.
Here’s where we all come in… As consumers, we hold immense power to drive change. By supporting sustainable brands and embracing sustainable fashion, we can become catalysts for a greener future. It's time to rethink our shopping habits, opting for quality over quantity, and choosing brands that align with our values. Together, we can create a demand for sustainable fashion and encourage other brands to follow.
We hope to see more updates and steps released in the coming weeks, so stay tuned GFZ’s!