Joint media release: Fashion's latest collab to drive environmental innovation

15 November 2021

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
The Hon Trevor Evans MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management

A landmark scheme to bring fashion designers, manufacturers, retailers and charities together to tackle the mountains of clothing and textile waste heading for landfill every year will receive $1 million in grant funding from the Morrison Government.

Australian Fashion Council will lead a consortium of fibre growers, designers, manufacturers, labels and textile waste managers to design and develop the industry-led scheme which is set to drive innovation in the fashion sector, creating new Australian jobs.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said despite being the second highest consumers of clothing and textiles in the world, only seven per cent of clothing in Australia is recycled.

“We want to keep our clothing and textile waste out of landfill,” Minister Ley said.

“Like the paper, metal, glass and plastic we recycle every week, clothing and textile waste is an unrealised resource and we have a growing opportunity to use it wisely.

“Like other forms of waste, clothing releases harmful carbon emissions as it breaks down in landfill.

“We want this scheme to better protect the environment by creating clothing in a more thoughtful manner, designing for durability, designing for less waste and choosing fibres for future recyclability.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction Trevor Evans said the scheme will encourage one of our most creative industries to collaborate and find solutions to a very unfashionable problem.

“Today’s announcement is about industry working together, taking up the challenge of textile waste and driving innovative solutions,” Assistant Minister Evans said.

AFC Acting CEO Kellie Hush said: “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,” Ms Hush said.

“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 funding was awarded through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund. Further information is available here