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March 22, 2024 3 min read

Welcome back GFZ's to another Happy Earth News blog!

Today's story is about an Aussie challenging the status quo on textile waste. Meet Dempstah, an initiative by designer Guy Dempster, aimed at transforming the textile industry's approach to waste management...

Dempstah Founder Textile Waste Management Australia

With over a decade of experience in fashion and textiles across New York, Sydney, and southern China, Guy Dempster brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to the table. His mission? To revolutionise the way we produce, consume, and recycle textiles. Woot woot, you had us at 'mission'! 

Their mantra is clear: textiles are not disposable. They are precious resources that deserve respect and care. With this ethos in mind, Dempstah is leading the change towards a circular economy where waste is minimised and resources are reused and recycled.

Dempstah has recently been named as the recipient of eBay’s $100,000 Circular Fashion Fund, a testament to their innovative approach to textile recycling. The Circular Fashion Fund, launched by eBay in partnership with the Australian Fashion Council, aims to support sustainable innovation in the fashion industry, with a goal of achieving circularity by 2030. Worthy winner for sure! 

Dempstah x Salvos Stores...

Dempstah collaborates with international and local textile mills to recycle Australian textile waste into spun yarn, contributing to a more sustainable supply chain. Through partnerships with Salvos Stores Australia, Dempstah is tackling the challenge of post-consumer textile waste head-on, diverting unwanted clothing from landfills and turning them into yarn!

Approximately 500kg (half a metric tonne) of clothes from Salvos were collected for recycling. The project received a grant of $20,000 from the City of Sydney Environmental Performance Innovation grant (now renamed the Innovation and Ideas grant). The recycling run provided insight into the logistical realities of sourcing, sorting, and saving the public’s textile waste, including purifying fibre blends, finding ways to weed out synthetic content, creating a wider range of colours, and producing a wider range of yarn weights/plies.

Plus, the recent collaboration with The Billie, an innovative textile recycling mill in Hong Kong, highlights Dempstah's commitment to sustainable practices. The Billie's mechanical system recovers natural textile fibres without the use of water or harmful chemicals, setting a new standard for eco-friendly recycling methods.

With a focus on continuous improvement and innovation, Guy Dempster and his team are constantly exploring new ways to enhance their recycling process. From purifying fibre blends to creating a wider range of colours and yarn weights, Dempstah is pushing the boundaries of what's possible in textile recycling.

Dempstah Textile Recycling Collaboration With Salvos Stores

Did you know?

The average Aussie purchases 27kg of new clothing and textiles every year, and discards 23kg into landfill. This contributes to the 6,000kg of clothing and textile waste being discarded into landfill every 10 minutes, putting Australia as the second largest consumer of textiles per person in the world, after the US. But we are on the road to recovering those numbers! 

    Dempstah serves as a beacon of hope — a reminder that with creativity, determination, and collaboration, we can build a brighter future for our planet.

    Until next week GFZ's, don't forget to check out our other Happy Earth News Blogs for more inspiring stories of sustainability and environmental stewardship like this one about WA's Single-use Coffee Cup Ban: A Leap Towards Plastic-Free Living in Australia!

    Wishing you a beautiful day change-makers! 

    Much love, 

    GFZ Team xx 

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