Join the AFC team | Administration & Marketing Assistant

POSITION DETAILS

Position: Administration & Marketing Assistant
Location: Sydney or Melbourne
Contract: Part time - 3 or 4 days/week
 

DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the Industry Relations Manager, this role provides general administration support for the team across AFC memberships, communications and Australian Fashion Trade Mark certification. You’ll be highly organised and excellent at administration tasks that keep the AFC running such as payments, processing membership and managing contacts. As the first point of contact for businesses and brands across all facets of the fashion and textile industry, your friendly, generous and helpful demeanour will come across in your strong communication skills. You’ll also be supporting the marketing team in creating and executing content that drives and inspires engagement across the AFC platforms.
 

RESPONSIBILITIES

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION:

- Manage administration for the AFC
- Manage the AFC inbox and action enquiries within two business days
- Manage travel, invoices, reconciliation and payments
- Support the CEO with diary management
- Provide support for key projects ie Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme
- Support the team with ad hoc tasks as needed
 

AFC MEMBERSHIP SUPPORT:

- Process memberships and manage administration for AFC members
- Manage membership website and portal, including AFC Directory
- Manage membership database, including payment reconciliation
- Actively look at ways to improve processes, create efficiency and engage members
- Weekly and monthly reporting for memberships
 

MARKETING SUPPORT:

- Media monitoring as needed and monthly marketing reporting
- Assist with content and writing for emails, website and social media
- Assist with community engagement across social media as required
 

‘AUSTRALIAN FASHION’ TRADE MARK ADMINISTRATION:

- Assist the Head of Marketing with brand outreach
- Review all CTM applications, review against criteria and checking for completeness
- Manage certification processing, including brand communications, support and renewal processes
- Ensure accurate and timely reporting
- Coordinate brand contact lists and ensure brand information is correct and up to date
- Coordinate Advisory Panel meetings and brand review process
- Analyse and apply continuous improvement to create efficiencies and value
 

QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

- Currently completing or recent graduate of tertiary qualifications in fashion, textiles, design, communications or business related field; or
- 1 - 2 years workplace experience in a similar administration role
 

IT WOULD BE AN ADVANTAGE TO HAVE:

- Experience within a not-for-profit or peak body organisation
- Experience in Google Analytics, GTM, Mailchimp and WordPress/Memberpress
 

SKILLS & ATTRIBUTES

- Active interest in the Australian fashion and textiles industry.
- Excellent communication skills, especially writing
- Highly organised with strong attention to detail
- Sound working knowledge of Office (in particular Excel) and/or Google suite
- Willingness to learn and contribute to the team
- Self motivated and proactive
- Act with honesty and integrity in everything you do
- A friendly and engaging personality
- Share the AFC’s values and vision
 

TO APPLY
Send your CV along with a cover letter addressing why you are the best candidate to Samantha Delgos at sdelgos@ausfashioncouncil.com, with the subject line “Application for Administration & Marketing Assistant” by December 14, 2022.

Watch | Melbourne Fashion Week Conversation Panels

At Melbourne Fashion Week, the AFC hosted three conversation panels that spoke to the Australian Fashion and Textile industry’s most topical subjects; the unique attributes of the Australian Fashion™, the future of local manufacturing and the link between clothing circularity and citizen behaviour.
 

Following the media moment and launch of the Australian Fashion™ campaign ‘Down Under in Front’, industry players and consumers headed into the Swinburne Studio at the ACMI Melbourne to sit and listen to an array of experts discuss the issues that matter along with insights into the inner workings of the current and future state of the Australian Fashion industry. A special thank you to Melbourne Fashion Week and Creative Victoria.
 

WATCH THE PANELS:

DRIVING DEMAND – THE AUSTRALIAN FASHION CAMPAIGN
Presented by Creative Victoria

Watch this discussion on the research behind the Australian Fashion™ presented by Vicinity Centres, the attributes identified and the importance of transparency over perfection for brands. Hear from representatives from Australian brands on what the trademark means to them and how we can come together as a unified industry.

Featuring Alix Higgins (Founder, Alix Higgins), Corrine Barchanowicz (Head of Brand Marketing and Experience, Vicinity Centres), Denni Francisco (Founder, Ngali), Leila Naja Hibri (CEO, Australian Fashion Council) and Mary Lou Ryan (Co-founder, bassike)
 
 

ROADMAP TO A CIRCULAR FASHION ECONOMY
Presented by Creative Victoria

Watch this talk which reveals how Australia can progress towards clothing circularity. This important discussion unpacks how The National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme is working towards ways of reducing the nation’s textile waste by 2030. The scheme relies on action from the entire clothing ecosystem including everyone from disruptors, brands and manufacturers to charities, academics, waste management companies and consumers.

Featuring Belinda Paul (Founder, RCYCL), Danielle Kent (Project Director, Australian Fashion Council), Dewi Cooke (CEO, The Social Studio), Julie Boulton (Project Manager, Monash Sustainable Development Institute) and Paula Rogers (GM of Sustainability, Decjuba).
 
 

MAKE IT MELBOURNE
Presented by Creative Victoria

Watch this panel for a thought-provoking discussion between brands and manufacturers on the three-part documentary series, ‘Make It Melbourne’, where the panel shared the passionate stories of four makers and brands committed to supporting local manufacturing.

Featuring Ashlynne McGhee (Reporter, ABC), Margie Woods (Creative Director and Founder, Viktoria & Woods), Julia Van Der Sommen (Director, Sample Room), Vicki Nicola (Lead Educator of Fashion and Millinery, Kangan Institute) and Kate Dillon (Creative Director and Founder, She Lion).
 
 

Presented by:


 

With special thanks to:

Make it Melbourne | The skills, education and demand needed to rebuild a thriving local manufacturing trade

The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) and Creative Victoria have partnered to deliver ‘Make It Melbourne,’ a three-part documentary series that uncovers what’s beneath a small but thriving local manufacturing industry; Artisans, highly technical workers and transparent supply chains producing high quality products with better environmental footprints.
 
 

After decades of off-shore manufacturing, the pandemic revealed the lack of sovereign manufacturing here in Australia and highlighted the need to revive the industry. Consumer awareness increased to #supportlocal, not only to support our economy, businesses and their employees, but also to allow consumers to make more transparent, ethical and environmentally responsible choices that align with their values.
 

The first video in the series features Viktoria and Woods, a leading Australian designer label who makes their unique merino knits through Kangan Institute, which doubles as a training and education facility. Their knit machine can knit a whole garment in one piece without any seams. Founder, Margie Woods believes that more support is needed to train highly skilled technicians to use unique pieces of machinery. “I think we are one of the very few brands that do fully fashion knits in Australia”, says Woods. “It’s not the machinery that's limited, it's actually skilled technicians. There's only a few that can do what they’re doing.”
 


 

Kate Dillon, Founder of She Lion developed an Australian made t-shirt during the pandemic that passed through 22 businesses, 20 of those in Melbourne showing support for the local economy and keep jobs surviving on shore. “One garment touches 300 hands, 300 Australian hands, 300 Melbourne hands… and that gives me goosebumps. Make It Melbourne to me is… a bright future, and an incredible opportunity to galvanise and reignite what we had,” said Dillon.
 


 

Julia Van Der Sommen from The Sample Room who works with a variety of brands including Ihraa Swim and Kerrin, shared that perhaps people have forgotten about the huge benefits of manufacturing locally. And while some are able to produce off-shore in low quantities, it can sometimes come at a cost such as loss in translation design, impacted quality and communication.
 


 

“Between the designer and the shop there’s a huge bustling industry of highly skilled people, and I think we need to bring that back - to showcase to the consumer and people interested to working in the industry that it is a real industry, and a real job and an amazing career,” said Van Der Sommen.
 

The Make it Melbourne stories share a small snapshot of what could be a thriving industry. With support for education and infrastructure, a continued increase in demand in manufacturing could help address skills gaps and build a thriving industry. The AFC believes the industry can be re-built with the idea to ‘right-shore’ - not trying to compete with international labour costs, but using technology and developing career pathways to create a manufacturing industry of the future that can be competitive on the global scale.
 

To watch the three part series, head to the Make it Melbourne program page.
 

Manufacturers are encouraged to list their business in the AFC Directory, Australia’s largest database of fashion and textiles suppliers, so brands can easily discover and engage manufacturers In Melbourne, Victoria and beyond.
 

To list a business, head to the AFC Directory.
 
 

With special thanks to:
Viktoria & Woods, Kangan Institute, Sample Room, Ihrra Swim, Kerrin, She Lion, T-shirt OZ, Richmond laundry, Top Knit Fabrics and CGT Australia.
 
 

Supported by:

Meet the winner of the 2022 Melbourne Fashion Week Student Runway

Featuring collections by students from Box Hill Institute, Holmesglen Institute, Kangan Institute, RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles and Whitehouse Institute of Design Australia, the Melbourne Fashion Week (M/FW) Student Collections Runway aims to bring together the city’s top fashion schools to showcase the next big names in Australian fashion design.
 

The AFC was fortunate enough to attend the presentation as well as be on the judging panel to choose the top five finalists and winner.
 

We spoke to the 2022 winner Amy Cottrell, student from Whitehouse Institute of Design who’s focus on innovative fabrics, sustainability and unique design process reflects the exciting space fashion and design students are bringing to the future of our industry.
 
 

Q1. Tell us about the concept behind your collection and how you came to use biodegradable/edible bioplastic?

Plasticity explores our relationship with the man-made substance that was once strongly associated with progress and is now held responsible for major environmental damage. In nature, plasticity describes how organisms have the ability to adapt, changing their form and function, to fit into a harsh and challenging world. This collection reflects on the idea that while manmade development and progress is exciting, it comes at a cost and is creating overwhelming challenges, particularly in the form of climate change. It is essential that we learn to adjust to new conditions in order to survive and the way we use plastics also needs to adapt and change as we move forwards.

In creating this collection I spent a great deal researching to find products that could replace plastic and be harmless to the environment and came across some recipes for bioplastic. I then did extensive experimentation using different recipes to see if any would be suitable to make garments and found bioplastics that could be used in interesting ways.
 


 

Q2. Can you break down the process of creating the bioplastic and paper pieces for your collection?

The bioplastic is made in a pot on the stove using water, gelatine and glycerin with natural dyes added to create different colours. It is then poured onto a flat surface to create sheets that can be cut and sewn or poured into a mould to create rigid shapes like petals. It takes about a week to dry before I can start working with it.

The ‘paper mache technique’ started with the idea that fabric can be stiffened by soaking it in watered down non toxic glue and letting it dry. I expanded this concept by using strips of silk soaked in non toxic glue and layered to make a moulded bodice, which was shaped over a mannequin and left to dry.
 


 

Q3. As a student entering the fashion industry, can you tell why sustainability is so important to you and what excites you about the future of innovation in design?

Growing up in a fourth-generation horticultural family on the Murray River near Mildura has provided me with a strong understanding of the importance of sustainability. Our family business is reliant on a healthy river system and the weather and droughts and floods really negatively impact our crops. The motivation to find innovative ways to clean up the Australian fashion industry, and assist in improving the environmental issues we face is very personal for me. I strongly believe that ‘sustainable’ does not mean compromise in terms of quality or aesthetics and believe that sustainability should form the basis for all design. Innovation helps us to discover new cleaner ways of doing things and offers opportunities for discovering exciting new frontiers within the fashion industry.
 
 

Connect with Amy
@amycottrelldesign
https://www.amycottrell.com/

 
With special thanks to Melbourne Fashion Week.

8 fashion and textile skills escalated on the National Skills Priority List for 2022.

After continuous and persistent advocacy on behalf of our industry, the Australian Fashion Council is excited to share that the newly released National Skills Priority List (SPL) for 2022, now includes eight key fashion and textile skills in the manufacturing space that have escalated to the 'strong demand' category. 

This is a momentous occasion for the fashion & textile industry resulting from the efforts of many within our sector.

WHAT IS THE NATIONAL SKILLS PRIORITY LIST (SPL)?

The SPL provides a detailed view of occupations in shortage, nationally, and by state and territory, as well as the future demand for occupations in Australia, which informs the targeting of policy initiatives. 

This sends a strong signal to the fashion industry on the importance of our industry going forward, and the resurgence of manufacturing in Australia. Strong industries are built on qualified skills and this is a step towards rebuilding the systems and infrastructure needed for the Australian fashion and textile industry.

 

WHAT SKILLS HAVE BEEN ESCALATED?

The 2022 List has identified key fashion and textile skills as an area of strong future demand. These skill sets include:

     - Footwear Production Machine Operator

     - Hide and Skin Processing Machine Operator

     - Knitting Machine Operator

     - Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operator

     - Weaving Machine Operator

     - Yarn Carding and Spinning Machine Operator

     - Textile And Footwear Production Machine Operators

In addition, demand for sewing machinists has risen from ‘moderate’ to ‘strong’ and an emerging demand (moderate) was identified for 'Clothing trades workers', which includes Apparel Cutters, Clothing Patternmakers, Dressmakers and Tailors.

See the National Skills Priority List (SPL) for 2022

 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OUR INDUSTRY?

Identifying these high demand skill sets is the first step to increasing the accessibility and quality of vocational and educational training (VET) programs to support new career pathways and government funded apprenticeships for the fashion and textile industry. 

Government funded apprenticeships will ease the financial burden of manufacturers who are already under pressure to find and train new workers to meet the increased production demand. With this list of high demand occupations, the government can also activate a range of additional policy levers, including visas to increase skilled migration to fulfil these in demand jobs.

 

ADVOCATING FOR THE AFC’S POLICY PILLAR #3: 

MAP AND DEVELOP FUTURE SKILLS AND CAREER PATHWAYS THAT WILL BOOST ECONOMIC SECURITY, PARTICULARLY FOR WOMEN.

In May this year, the AFC released its industry modelling report, Fashion Evolution: From Farm to Industry - Accelerating the economic impact of a sector powered by women. This report solidified the AFC’s four foundational policy pillars that, with industry and government working together, have the potential to place our sector on an accelerated growth trajectory whilst at the same time, accelerating economic opportunities for the women powering this industry. 

Earlier this year, our CEO Leila Naja Hibri met with Zali Steggall MP. The fashion and textile industry, like most others across Australia, is struggling with an acute skilled workforce shortage. This policy pillar aims to upskill and train the majority female workforce in the fashion and textile industry to increase the economic security for women beginning their career as well as women re-entering the workforce. The approach would be two-fold, upskill the current workforce as well as engage the next generation of students to find jobs of the future.

This strategic policy pillar aims to fill current and future skills gaps with a focus on STEM roles as the industry moves to adopt technologies and advanced manufacturing initiatives, boosting the economy and closing the gender gap. The discussion left an impression upon Zali Steggal MP, and was highlighted by the Independents through Zoe Daniel MP during her speech at the National Jobs and Skills Summit.

“Apprenticeship programs are mostly dominated by male trades, but ... an industry like fashion, for example, brings a huge amount of economic benefit to the country, and cutters, machinists, pattern makers could all be trained in apprenticeships.” - Zoe Daniel MP

The AFC will continue to advocate to the government to develop future skills and career pathways that will support existing and new sectors of the industry including fashion technology and the circular economy.

AFC Conversations at Melbourne Fashion Week presented by Creative Victoria

The AFC is excited to partner with Melbourne Fashion Week (M/FW) and Creative Victoria to present our three part conversation series where we will be discussing the Australian Fashion and Textile industry’s most topical subjects; the unique attributes of the Australian Fashion™, the future of local manufacturing and the link between clothing circularity and citizen behaviour.

Event and ticketing details below.
 
 

Driving Demand – The Australian Fashion™ Campaign - SOLD OUT
Swinburne Studio, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne
8:30am - 9:30am, Thursday 13 October

Effortless style, fearless innovation, boundless optimism and raw nature – these are the unique attributes of Australian fashion, as defined in a world-first campaign and trade mark tasked with promoting Australian fashion to both local and international customers. Join this discussion as part of the M/FW Conversations series led by the Australian Fashion Council on the research behind this trademark, the attributes identified and the importance of transparency over perfection for brands. Hear from representatives from Australian brands on what the trademark means to them and how we can come together as a unified industry.
 

Facilitated by AFC CEO Leila Naja Hibri, panellists include Alix Higgins of Alix Higgins, Corrine Barchanowicz of Vicinity Centres, Denni Francisco of Ngali and Mary Lou Ryan of bassike. This panel session will follow the launch of the Australian Fashion ™ Campaign at Federation Square from 8am.

FIND OUT MORE
 
 

Roadmap To A Circular Fashion Economy
Swinburne Studio, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne
9:45am - 10:45am, Thursday 13 October

Join us for this engaging conversation that will reveal how Australia can progress towards clothing circularity. This important discussion will unpack how The National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme is working towards reducing textile waste by 2030 and the role of citizen behaviour in driving change. The scheme relies on action from the entire clothing ecosystem including everyone from disruptors, brands and manufacturers to charities, academics, waste management companies and consumers.
 

Facilitated by AFC Project Director Danielle Kent, panellists include Belinda Paul of RCYCL, Dewi Cooke of The Social Studio, Julie Boulton of MSDI and Paula Rogers of Decjuba.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
 
 

Make it Melbourne
Swinburne Studio, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne
11:00am - 12:00pm, Thursday 13 October

Hidden among the alleyways and sprawling suburbs of Melbourne is a small but bustling garment manufacturing hub. Join us for the premiere of the three part documentary series ‘Make it Melbourne’, followed by a thought-provoking discussion between brands and makers and the future of the local manufacturing industry.
 

Facilitated by ABC reporter Ashlynne McGhee, panellists include Margie Woods of Viktoria & Woods, Julia Van Der Sommen of Sample Room, Vicki Nicola of Kangan Institute and Kate Dillon of She Lion.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE
 
 

Bianca Spender X Nobody Denim | Limited edition denim capsule collection

AFC Members Bianca Spender and Nobody Denim have collaborated to create a limited edition capsule collection of conscious ready-to-wear denim styles. The collection acknowledges both brands’ commitment to the environment, local production and celebrating the Australian fashion industry.
 

Australian fashion has earnt a unique position on the global stage. Known for its effortless approach to dressing, conscious design, and use of luxurious natural fibres. Bianca Spender has become synonymous with tranquil tailoring and supple, romantic drapery and is most revered for her refined corporate and eveningwear.
 

As traditional dress codes come under scrutiny, Spender turned to the concept of elevating the everyday wardrobe. Post COVID-19, denim is more prevalent than ever, and people are seeking pieces with a unique perspective on design. Spender has always had a deep respect for the craftsmanship and expertise that goes into making denim and saw the opportunity to partner with a like minded Australian brand to create a collection that brings the beauty of the Bianca Spender brand into the everyday.
 

“I’ve always been inspired by the idea of unearthing beauty in the everyday and finding joy in getting dressed. I was excited by the idea of exploring pieces that can be worn daily, while also highlighting the design detail that goes into Bianca Spender collections. I wanted to start with pieces that were unconventional and take a playful approach. You can see so much of the detailing within the designs through the washes, stitching and finishes. The nature of denim brings a sculptural feel to my traditionally fluid or liberated silhouettes which has been very exciting to work with.”
- Bianca Spender, Founder and Creative Director, Bianca Spender

 


 

A keen support for the Australian manufacturing industry and sustainable business practices are what bound the two brands. 23 years on from its’ inception, Nobody Denim remains dedicated to local manufacturing and maintaining ethical practices to lead the industry in innovative sustainability solutions.
 

All pieces in the Bianca Spender X Nobody Denim collection are designed, produced and finished in Nobody Denim’s Melbourne factory. Conscious fabric choices include Hemp. Considered a ‘super fibre,’ The natural plant requires substantially less water and chemical inputs than conventional cotton and is biodegradable and renewable. Accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, the collection has been produced employing responsible business practices.
 

“This collaboration has been the meeting of two likeminded Australian brands. I have a deep level of craft in my pieces, and I’ve always had a respect for the expertise that goes into making denim. Much like Nobody Denim, Bianca Spender has always been committed to producing locally in Australia and working in a sustainable way, with the objective of decreasing our impact on the environment.”
- Bianca Spender, Founder and Creative Director, Bianca Spender
 

“Nobody Denim and Bianca Spender have very different aesthetics which is what has made this project so wonderful. The sharing of practices and ideas between two passionate brands is the spirit of collaboration and I can’t wait for our respective customers to be able to shop this special collection.”
- John Condilis, CEO and Co-Founder, Nobody Denim

 


 

11 styles in a colour palette of oxford blue, sky and chalk comprise the collection. Non-traditional silhouettes are influenced by some of Spender’s most revered styles from over the years and take on new life when crafted in sculptural denim.
 

The collection will be available to purchase through Bianca Spender and Nobody Denim retail outlets on 8th September 2022.
 

Images: Daphne Nguyen

An evening with Esse Studios | Edit Collection

Australian designer Charlotte Hicks has launched Edit Collection x ESSE Studios at premier shopping destination Chatswood Chase Sydney, offering several weeks of unmissable retail experiences between 26th July to 18th September.
 

Following on from her highly coveted runway at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, the technology driven retail space will host Charlotte's latest collection ‘Edition No.7’ for the next three weeks.
 

The evening saw friends of the brand, media and industry players gather to eat, drink and take in the serene landscape that her clothes and accessories breathed into the space. Not to mention the live harp player and beautiful models sporting the latest collection.
 


 

ESSE Studios is a contemporary, ready-to-wear lifestyle brand for the woman who takes a considered and conscious approach to her style. Every ESSE Studios design features classic, versatile pieces with a purpose, with each Edition building upon the last. Created by award-winning designer Charlotte Hicks, each piece is an innovative interpretation of everyday ESSEntials.
 


 

The successful retail concept is a partnership between Vicinity Centres, Afterpay, and the Australian Fashion Council. The partnership gives emerging Australian designers support and omni-channel strategies to drive sales and provides an opportunity to experiment with interactive digital technology and physical retailing.
 

In 2022, Edit Collection has featured premier Australia designers Bondi Born, My General Store, First Nations Fashion + Design and now ESSE Studios.
 

Edit Collection x ESSE Studios is open from July 26th to 18th September. To find out more, head to the program page on the AFC website.

Second Town Hall Meeting Notes | National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme

On the 20th July the AFC and consortium members held the second industry webinar to continue the conversation and update the industry on the progress of the National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme. Over 250 attendees from all facets of the fashion and textile eco-system tuned in to hear insights from the consortium around the groundbreaking reports that mark the closing of phase one of the Scheme.
 

Thank you to everyone who attended. It was fantastic to see such a high level of engagement and sharing through the chat box and Q&A sessions.
 
 

GLOBAL SCAN REPORT - READ HERE
The Global Scan Report provides learnings for Scheme design based on global best practices and a close, contextual understanding of Australia’s capacity for change, led by the Queensland University of Technology team: Alice Payne, with Paige Street, Annastasia Bousgas and Caitlan Hopper.

The report is in three parts:
1. A survey of the current state of the Australian clothing industry and product stewardship;
2. An analysis of clothing waste policies and initiatives in 12 countries; and
3. An overview of technologies and processes that can support a circular economy for clothing.
 

DATA REPORT - READ HERE
Led by the Sustainable Resource Use team, Peter Allan and Jill Allan, the data report aims to:

Understand the structure of the sector to ensure the scheme elements are efficient and fair to all;
To provide a comprehensive understanding of the flow of clothing in order to frame the scheme actions for maximised effectiveness; and
To act as an important baseline by which we can measure changes and successes.
 
 

Thank you to our webinar speakers Alice Payne of QUT, Peter Allan of Sustainable Resource Use, Claire Kneller of WRAP, our MC Omer Soker of Charitable Recycling Australia and our AFC Project Director, Danielle Kent.

In case you missed it, you can watch the recording below, download the presentation and the Q&A’s.
 

WATCH THE RECORDING

 

RESPONSES TO YOUR QUESTIONS HERE:
Throughout the session we tried to respond to as many of your questions in the time we had. For those questions we missed, click here.
 

VIEW THE PRESENTATION HERE:
If you would like to revisit the slides that were presented during the webinar click here.
 

We would like to give a special thanks to Liandra Gaykamangu for her engaging and out-of-the-box Acknowledgement of Country;
 
 

THE CONSORTIUM

LEILA NAJA HIBRI
CEO, Australian Fashion Council
 

DANIELLE KENT
Project Director, National Clothing Stewardship Scheme, Australian Fashion Council
dkent@ausfashioncouncil.com
 

OMER SOKER
CEO, Charitable Recycling Australia
omer@charitablerecycling.org.au
 

DR ALICE PAYNE
Associate Professor - Fashion, School Of Design, QUT.
a1.payne@qut.edu.au
 

PETER ALLAN
CEO, Sustainable Resource Use
peter.allan@sru.net.au
 

CLAIRE KNELLER
Head Of Asia Pacific, WRAP
claire.kneller@wrap.org.uk
 

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR KEY COLLABORATORS:
National Retail Association (NRA), Australian Retailers Association (ARA), Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association (WMRR) and Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR), and dozens of other stakeholders across the entire clothing value chain including brands, retailers, industry, academia and federal, state and local governments.
 
 

Government Crackdown on Greenwashing | Olvera Advisors

Authored by Olvera Advisors
 

The growing consumer interest in sustainable brands has driven more and more fashion brands to promote their sustainability initiatives and efforts. But now with false claims and greenwashing becoming more prevalent, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking a tougher approach to false claims. Why is the ACCC targeting greenwashing and how does it impact your brand?
 

Although falling slightly behind from the rest of the world in its release of the 2022/23 compliance and enforcement report, the ACCC has announced that greenwashing is becoming its new priority. This includes targeting greenwasher's in "problem sectors" proactively, rather than waiting for complaints to come through. These steps have been taken by the ACCC to protect consumers as many businesses seek to take advantage of the public’s growing environmental consciousness. The ACCC is also concerned greenwashing can result in unfair competition, as those businesses incurring the costs of genuine environmentally friendly actions will be competing against businesses which are making misleading green claims without incurring the same costs.
 

Broad unqualified claims may give rise to issues under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), located in schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), if they are ambiguous or cannot be substantiated. Greenwashing has negative legal implications for engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct, and may also expose your brand to reputational risks.
 

H&M, Zara and Uniqlo are among the international companies caught greenwashing over the years. These fashion brands have contributed to the massive amounts of textile waste caused by the clothing industry. According to the fashion non-for-profit ReMake, 80% of textiles globally are incinerated or landfill-bound, just 20% being reused or recycled. Of the textiles being recycled, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, less than 1% are actually being recycled back into fibres to be reused in garments.
 

To help navigate between substantiated claims and greenwashing, the Australian Securities and Investment Commision (ASIC) provides a set of questions to consider. These questions will assist you to avoid greenwashing when offering or promoting the environmental credentials and/or impact of your products:
 

1. Is your product true to the label?

ASIC warns against using specific sustainability-related terminology or absolute terms in a product’s label, which would be misleading. For example, this may include label terms like ‘green’, ‘sustainable’ or ‘eco-friendly’, especially if used without explanation. Whilst these terms are likely to be seen as suggesting that a product, brand, or business as a whole has a positive environmental impact or at least no adverse impact, these claims are invalid unless a business/brand has the ability to prove it. In situations where the company is unable to prove its claims, it risks falling short of its legal obligations.
 

2. Have you used vague terminology in your communication?

Brands must be cautious when using technical terminology related to sustainability when communicating about their brand or product offerings. Many technical ESG terms do not have a ‘standard definition’, therefore it is crucial that brands explain the terminology used in their communication and promotional material.
 

3. Are your headline claims potentially misleading?

Considering that headline claims are a powerful tool for capturing your audience’s attention, it is important to avoid making misleading headline claims about sustainability-related products or actions. ASIC has noted that exceptions or qualifications such as fine print and terms and conditions to headline claims may well be insufficient to remedy misleading representations.
 

4. Have you explained how you use metrics related to sustainability?

It is advised by ASIC that several additional disclosures are made in relation to sustainability-related metrics. For example, this may include obtaining an ESG score from credible sources. In essence, an ESG score is a score calculated based on measuring a company’s relative ESG performance, commitment, and effectiveness across main themes such as emissions, environmental product innovation and human resources). A great example of this is Bassike’s recent B Corp certification achievement. Bassike has achieved B Corp certification with a high impact score of 92 in key areas including governance, workers, community and environment and customers, meaning that the brand highly values social and environmental performance, corporate governance, and transparency.
 

This information was compiled by Olvera Advisors

Connect with Olvera Advisors
Website | Linkedin | Facebook

Watch the final Knowledge Exchange Session of the AFC FashTech Lab

Thank you for joining us on Monday June 6th for the fourth and final AFC FashTech Lab Knowledge Exchange for 2022. The webinar hosted by our FashTech Project Manager Tracey Hamilton hosted our fashion and technology participants to reveal the final rendered digital samples they have been working on for the last six months along with their individual digital sampling journeys, time and cost saving and the fashion brands view on the longevity of digital solutions within their business.
 

The Avatars:
The session revealed that avatars, or ‘digital fit models,’ have a much greater chance of working for the brands if they start with clear measurements from the outset - Bianca Spender used the measurements from one of their actual fit models so they were able to approve the avatar straight away, making the creation process more time efficient.
 


 

The realism of digital fabrics:
Both Bianca Spender and Matteau were impressed at the level of detail achievable in their digitally rendered fabrics. Peta from Matteau reflected that the appearance of the digital fabrics was one of her strongest reservations before starting FashTech Labs, however she stated that the actual ‘weight, drape and movement’ of the digital fabrics was incredibly life-like. Bianca Spender noted the potential for digital samples to eliminate the issue of the 'hanger appeal' of many of their draped garments that are best viewed on the body.
 

Consensus of cost/time savings:
Matteau was amazed at the time, cost and fabric savings they gained due to the digital sampling workflow, noting how many physical samples they produce that never make it to production resulting in a lot of wasted fabric. With the digital workflow they can review, refine and select samples for their final collection, noting their time to market was also significantly reduced due to the digital sampling workflow.
 

WATCH THE RECORDING OF THE FINAL KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE:


 

CREATING A BUSINESS CASE FOR DIGITAL SAMPLING:

Ready to adopt digital sampling into your business? The AFC will develop a business case to show the time, cost, textile and carbon outcomes of this pilot program to help more businesses understand and adopt this workflow.

Stay tuned for the incoming case studies that will deep dive into the environmental impact of the program and reveal exactly how much water, time and textile waste has been saved and the actual cost savings for the brand participants. We will share reflections from the brands on how they plan to integrate the 3D sampling workflow after emerging from FashTech Lab as well as debunk many of the common myths surrounding digital sampling. The case studies will also demonstrate the potential for the digital sampling workflow as a tool to assist brands in transitioning to 'made-to-order' selling models to further reduce textile waste.
 

5 MINUTE FEEDBACK:
Help us improve the next FashTech Lab by answering five quick and easy questions. As a viewer what did you find most interesting, what do you wish there was more of and what do you want to see in the next iteration of the program?

TAKE THE SURVEY
 
 

Thank you to our technology partners; Style Atlas, Bandicoot, CoutureCAD, Ponz Studio, Neuno and ORDRE; who have guided the brands along their digital sampling workflow journey.
 

A special thanks to UTS, IMCRC and participating brands Cue, Bianca Spender, Matteau, Daniel Avakian, Eupheme, Palasade, Ramp Tramp Tramp Stamp and West 14th.

Meet Style Atlas & ORDRE | Tech Partners for the 2022 AFC FashTech Lab

The challenges faced by today’s fashion brands are many and well documented. However, new technologies offer workflows that can significantly improve a brands bottom line, time-to-market and environmental footprint. Implementing a 3D design workflow, especially when integrated with traditional ones, represents one of the best opportunities for brands to be able to revolutionise their product development and sampling process.

 

The purpose of the AFC FashTech Lab is to present and trial 3D design workflows where participating fashion businesses can discover the benefits and reach new potentials within their supply chain in a frictionless and cost effective way. Meet the AFC FashTech Lab Technology brands, who throughout the program's duration will be guiding the nine fashion businesses through every step of their digital sampling strategies and workflows.
 

Style Atlas
The creator of Quadrant, a product development platform for today’s fashion brands. Think of Quadrant like, Shopify for Fashion Makers. A single source of truth for all your product development needs that lives in the browser, is intuitive to use, cost effective and powerful.
 

Q1. Can you tell us about Quadrant, do you have a success story to share about a brand or business implementing the program?

If an industry insider tried to categorise Quadrant they would generally refer to it as a PLM. That is not wrong, but we don’t refer to Quadrant this way because users often think of PLM’s as old, clunky legacy software that they hate to use and costs a fortune. Quadrant is the opposite of that and that’s why we like to describe Quadrant as “Shopify for Fashion Makers”. So just like Shopify has revolutionised many brands' sales funnel, by making e-commerce easy to set up and manage, incorporate lot’s of powerful features but also be super cost effective, Quadrant does for the other side of a brands business; their design and product development.
 

Quadrant was originally designed to optimise traditional development workflows, but now we have introduced new functionality to facilitate and optimise digital and hybrid workflows, which we see as the future for fashion brands who wish to stay commercially and environmentally sustainable.
 

We are working with brands here in Australia, the US and Europe and even though each of them are very different in many ways they still share the same basic challenges; Dollars, Time and Carbon. The large amount of money they have to outlay to produce and sell each collection; The risk involved in long rigid lead times and the environmental costs associated with producing and selling each collection. What’s exciting for us is how Quadrant is assisting all the brands we are working with to reduce each of these cost centres.
 

Q2. What does the future of fashion look like if businesses adapt to more digital design workflows?

Ultimately, it can help disrupt the broken business model that prevails in the fashion industry today. A model that forces brands to sign up for high MOQ’s and continually seek lower unit costs. Actions required all to chase high margins that will allow them to still make a return after they have heavily discounted a significant proportion of each collection because they have such long, rigid lead times which are totally out of sync with fast moving consumer trends.
 

Digital design workflows can help to facilitate new “on-demand” workflows where brands can test the market without having to produce a single physical item. Business models that use technology to allow designers to test and trial new styles quickly without the same financial and environmental costs. So designers can be more creative, brands can retain higher margins without high MOQs and pressure on supply chain partners and the industry can lose its unwanted status as the second largest polluter after the oil industry.
 
 

ORDRE
The ORDRE Group comprises several fashion technologies redefining relationships between luxury brands, retailers, and consumers. Digital innovation is the company’s driving force.
 

Q1. What limitations are relieved when utilising digital showrooms?

Virtual showrooms provide fashion designers the opportunity to promote and sell their seasonal and core collections outside of traditional fashion market timings and locations. Removing the need to travel to conduct wholesale appointments saves fashion designers time, money and reduces unnecessary carbon emissions.
 

Q2. Can you share a success story of a brand you’ve worked with and how the ORDRE network allowed them to reach greater exposure? (in comparison to physical showings)

Throughout the last two years of the pandemic, AFC Virtual on ORDRE has assisted many Australian designers including P.E Nation, Helen Kaminski, Aje, and Jac+Jack to sell their wholesale collections to existing and prospective international buyers when travel was not possible. The program resulted in considerable virtual wholesale volume and a number of designers picking up new accounts in Europe, North America and Greater China.
 
 

To find out more about the AFC FashTech Lab head to the program page on the AFC website.

First Nations Fashion + Design opens at Edit Collection

First Nations Fashion + Design have now opened at Edit Collection, located at Sydney’s premier shopping district, Chatswood Chase.
On Saturday May 21, the store officially opened with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by First Nations Elder Brendan Kerin Mitchell; and a panel discussion facilitated by artist, storyteller and FNFD ambassador Luke Currie-Richardson with Gantharri designer Bobbi Lockyer and Cultural Craftsmanship designer, Grace Lillian Lee. The store is now stocked with latest pieces from the AAFW runway from FNFD brands such as Ihraa Swim, Clothing the Gaps, Aarli, Myrrdah, Grace Lillian Lee, Ikuntji Artists and more.
First Nations Fashion + Design celebrates independent Indigenous designers and supports their growth and development in the fashion industry. The month-long residency created from a partnership with Afterpay, Vicinity Centres, Australian Fashion Council and supported by marketplace Welcome to Country, allows shoppers to discover and buy First Nations fashion in a state of the art concept store that features shoppable change room mirrors, a digital assistant to shoot and share selfies and is also fitted out with fully recyclable clothes hangers crafted from upcycled marine plastics, ocean bound plastics and post-consumer plastics courtesy of Arch & Hook.
FNFD x Edit Collection
Open from May 21 to June 22, 2022.
Level 1, (Near MJ Bale)
Chatswood Chase Sydney,
345 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW
Image Credit: Joseph Mayers

Fashion 3.0, it’s sustainable | Watch the third Knowledge Exchange Session of the AFC FashTech Lab

Thank you for joining us on May 4th for the third AFC FashTech Lab Knowledge Exchange session where we brought our program participants back together to discuss the commercial viability of their current sampling strategy and discuss the sustainability benefits of transitioning to digital.
 

Thank you to our technology partners; Style Atlas, CoutureCAD and panel participants Dr. Clara Vuletich and Dr Lisa Lake; who joined us to discuss how Australian technology and fashion brands might develop solutions to lessen environmental impact, increase resilience, build networks, create jobs and return value to the local community.
 

WATCH THE RECORDING:


 

RESPONSES TO YOUR QUESTIONS HERE:
Throughout the session the tech brand representatives tried to respond to as many of your questions in the time we had. For questions that were missed, go to this link where you will find responses to all unanswered questions.
 
 

REGISTER FOR THE LAST KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE SESSION:
The Future of Sustainable Selling:

Join us for the final FashTech Lab Knowledge Exchange, a 90 minute fireside chat where technology and fashion businesses share their results from trialling a 3D sampling workflow. Follow the link below to register and find out more.

DATE | Monday June 6 2022
TIME | 9:00am - 10:30am
WHERE| Online via Zoom

REGISTER HERE

Meet neuno & Ponz Studio | Tech partners for the 2022 AFC FashTech Lab

The challenges faced by today’s fashion brands are many and well documented. However, new technologies offer workflows that can significantly improve a brands bottom line, time-to-market and environmental footprint. Implementing a 3D design workflow, especially when integrated with traditional ones, represents one of the best opportunities for brands to be able to revolutionise their product development and sampling process.

 

The purpose of the AFC FashTech Lab is to present and trial 3D design workflows where participating fashion businesses can discover the benefits and reach new potentials within their supply chain in a frictionless and cost effective way. Meet the AFC FashTech Lab Technology brands, who throughout the program's duration will be guiding the nine fashion businesses through every step of their digital sampling strategies and workflows.
 

neuno
​​A marketplace for authentic luxury fashion NFT and digital wearables; a new way to buy, trade and consume.
 

Q1. ‘Building a Wardrobe for the Metaverse’ - Can you break down the Neuno marketplace and how ownership works within digital fashion?

Neuno is a fashion tech company that collaborates with luxury fashion brands to create NFT’s of physical clothing/fashion items to then sell and distribute on our marketplace. Our consumers can purchase our collaboration drops from our marketplace and use the NFT’s they minted as digital wearables in various metaverses. We want to be your one-stop-shop for getting dressed and looking your best for the metaverse.
 

Holding a neuCard NFT grants you a spot in the exclusive world of neubians. That means you can be part of the digital wearable revolution to sweep over the fashion industry. Neuno ecosystem will bring established brands and their NFT drops to life and as a neuCard holder you are eligible to access those limited drops before anyone else.
 
 

Q2. How do you see digital/NFT fashion evolving over the next 10 years?

Over the next 10 years we hope that your digital life will be more important than ever. One of the ways you express yourself in the real world is through fashion and the clothes that you put on everyday. We want you to be able to express yourself in the same way digitally. That means purchasing digital wearables and showing off your outfits that you have collected in the metaverse. In the digital world/metaverse you are reborn again to be whoever you want to be. With digital wearables becoming more unique every day the possibilities are endless to try on variations of digital wearables combinations. We also feel that most luxury fashion brands would want to also display their work in the digital world as there is a whole new set of eyes there.
 
 

Ponz Studio
Ponz Studio, offering digital design services specific for the fashion industry thanks to a consolidated experience in the field and a solid 3D know-how.
 

Q1. Can you explain your favourite part of the digital design process?

I enjoy crafting all the details tha bring a digital garment to life. Working on the fabric look and refining the draping, adding trims, topstitches and labels and all those small aspects that enhance the realism of the product once completed. A very important aspect of my work is also setting up the right lighting to then render the final images or videos (as you would do in a “real” studio).
 

Q2. Why should digital design become the new normal when it comes to the development stage of product design?

I think the digital workflow really completes and refines the traditional one. Switching development tasks to digital will make them more efficient and sustainable, allowing designers to give time and resources to creative tasks that are sometimes given too little time.
 
 

To find out more about the AFC FashTech Lab head to the program page on the AFC website.

Stronger Together | Industry Modelling Report and Australian Fashion™ Launch

This morning we launched the Australian Fashion™ along with ‘Fashion Evolution: From Farm to Industry’, an EY industry report, sponsored by Afterpay.

In the short term, the fashion and textile industry has the potential to generate an additional $1.3 billion, including $700 million from additional investment, $500 million in exports and $100 million in private consumption and government expenditure. Over the next 10 years, the industry has the potential to deliver an additional $10.8 billion in economic gain, becoming a $38 billion industry by 2032 and creating an additional 86,000 jobs. The industry is made up of 77% women, driving women’s economic security and having the potential to deliver further career pathways and working opportunities.
 

In May 2021, the AFC was awarded a federal grant to create an Australian fashion certification trade mark and campaign to drive demand for Australian brands locally and internationally. Instantly recognisable, Australian Fashion™ will help more customers discover, explore and buy Australian fashion. The result will drive industry growth, more jobs and a greater contribution to the local economy that will future-proof the Australian fashion and textile industry.
 

This world-first, industry-led campaign will define Australian fashion, selling its unique creativity and progressive values to the world. For brands to become Australian Fashion™ certified, they must meet at least two of the following criteria; demonstrating a contribution to jobs and the local economy, Australian made, Australian owned, majority Australian employees, and Australian tax domiciled.
 

CEO of Australian Fashion Council, Leila Naja Hibri says “More than a trade mark, this is an opportunity to showcase the best of Australia’s fashion talent. For example, when Italian fashion is mentioned, we immediately visualise a distinct brand identity of quality and elegance. In a similar way, we have now identified four key pillars that distinguish Australia’s Fashion DNA: effortless style, raw nature, boundless optimism and fearless innovation. This, together with the trade mark, will help us clearly articulate the unique creativity and the progressive social and environmental values of Australian fashion on the world’s fashion stage.”
 

Certified brands must also pledge to a commitment to authentic Australian design to uphold the creative integrity of the industry nation brand, as well as to social and environmental impact commitments that drive the industry forward in transparent, responsible and inclusive practice.
 

Leila adds, “The Australian Fashion trade mark will be a driving force in building the industry’s growth trajectory to deliver substantial economic, social and environmental gains over the next ten years. We can show the world how prioritising people and the planet together with profit can lead to a legacy of thriving prosperity.”
 

“With women’s economic security now front and centre of Australia’s policy agenda, and with women representing more than 77% of our industry’s workforce, the fashion and textiles sector can play a pivotal role in advancing gender equality in our country. This is a cause very close to my heart.”
 

Brands can apply for the Australian Fashion™ trade mark on www.australianfashion.org. The multi-channel campaign and consumer website will launch in August in Australia 2022, followed by the UK in September 2022 with the objective to align with the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
 

With support from Afterpay, AFC has also launched ‘Fashion Evolution: From Farm to Industry’ an EY report that models the extraordinary economic potential of the fashion and textile industry.
 

The report is based on four key policy asks:
 

1. Promote the Australian Fashion™ campaign locally and globally to turbo-charge local and export earnings

2. Build future manufacturing capability, boosting the demand for Australian fashion and textiles, including for cotton and wool fibres and their derivatives

3. Boost women’s economic security by developing career pathways for women throughout their working life, addressing current and future industry skills gaps and opportunities

4. Build a workable and sustainable circular economy across Australia’s clothing, uniforms and textiles supply chain
 

Implementing all policy recommendations in full will deliver $10.8 billion in economic gain over 10 years, with the potential to create an additional 86,000 jobs for Australians. In the short term, the policies will increase economic output of 1.3 billion, with a potential ROI of 19:1, on a modest funding request of $69 million. Key findings in the report also revealed that the industry’s contribution to GDP would move from 1.5% in 2021, to 2.12% by 2032, a 41% increase in contribution over the 10 years.
 

CEO of Afterpay, Anthony Eisen, says “The Australian fashion industry is a key creative and economic contributor to our nation. It’s an industry that employs hundreds of thousands - many of whom are women - it builds our cultural identity, showcases our capacity for innovation, and contributes to wider economic growth.”
 

"Fashion has always been at the core of the Afterpay business and we’re proud to support the Australian Fashion Council and Ernst & Young in producing a report that spotlights its current and potential contribution to the Australian economy”.
 

The Australian Fashion™ and ‘Fashion Evolution: From Farm to Industry’ launched at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week. Read the report here
 

To read more or to apply for the Australian Fashion™ visit www.australianfashion.org

Meet Bandicoot & Couture Cad | Tech Partners for the 2022 AFC FashTech Lab

The challenges faced by today’s fashion brands are many and well documented. However, new technologies offer workflows that can significantly improve a brands bottom line, time-to-market and environmental footprint. Implementing a 3D design workflow, especially when integrated with traditional ones, represents one of the best opportunities for brands to be able to revolutionise their product development and sampling process.
 

The purpose of the AFC FashTech Lab is to present and trial 3D design workflows where participating fashion businesses can discover the benefits and reach new potentials within their supply chain in a frictionless and cost effective way. Meet the AFC FashTech Lab Technology brands, who throughout the program's duration will be guiding the nine fashion businesses through every step of their digital sampling strategies and workflows.
 

Bandicoot Imaging
Bandicoot digitises fabrics for the fashion industry. Using Shimmer Scan you can easily turn the materials library at your brand into digital fabrics, with photoreal colour, gloss and texture, ready for use in 3D fashion design software.
 

Q1. What are the quick wins of implementing digital fabric development and production from a sustainability perspective?

Digital fabrics, in the context of a digital sampling workflow, can significantly reduce material waste and carbon dioxide production. For a textile mill, a high-quality digital fabric can reach hundreds of potential buyers compared to the limited impact of a single physical swatch. This reduces the need for shipping which, in turn, cuts the carbon footprint. So too for brands when they replace physical samples with virtual samples. In some cases the amount of fabric needed can be reduced by 90%.
 

It is important to remember that digital fabrics are looking to complement traditional textile sampling rather than replace it. There will always be a need for 1-2 physical samples to realise a design but adopting virtual sampling for the bulk of sample iterations can only act to lower the impact of sampling on the environment.
 

Q2. What is a common misconception of digital fabrics and can you debunk those barriers?

One of the key aspects that has impeded adoption of digital fabrics is the misconception that the physical properties of a real fabric can’t be accurately captured and represented digitally. The main physical properties needed for realistic fabric simulation are bending, shear and tensile strength in relation to the fabric weight. In fact these required fabric properties can be measured with textile testing instruments available on the market. The biggest hurdle facing this aspect of digital fabrics is agreeing on a standard set of measurements that can be imported into 3D design software. The 3D Retail Coalition (3DRC) has brought together the stakeholders to address this problem and work towards a standard operating procedure.
 
 

CoutureCad
Couture Cad enables designers to view their designs in a 3D environment on an avatar customised to their brands measurements. Designs can be viewed in accurate fabric/colour/prints/drape. Changes can be made quickly and easily. Once design is approved, pattern files are sent for sampling.
 

Q1. Can you explain the process of developing avatars and how they can effectively communicate a garment's story before entering the sampling phase?

The first step is customising the avatar in Clo3D. Most brands use a women’s base size 8 but we also use mens, children’s and plus size. We can also import avatars into CLO of human or fictional proportions or completely customise based on the brands needs. Patterns are either imported or created in CLO, they are then simulated on the avatar and are viewable at every angle, pose or motion cycle. Any adjustments to fit or design are made on the avatar then we email them to the designer to check/approve. 
 

Digital fabrics are available in CLO and many fabric suppliers are now offering digital fabrics so simulation is as accurate as reality. You can change the grainline to bias, see accurate drape, use pressure tools to create a puffer jacket or quilted panels and puckering to make topstitching appear more realistic. There are also many trims available including buttons, buckles and zips that can be viewed on your garment. A designer can now present exactly what they envisage across an entire collection, no longer “close enough” due to poor communication.
 

Q2. What are the sustainable/cost saving benefits brands can see from adopting 3D processes into the development process?

A jacket has around 35 pattern pieces. When developing on an avatar we only need to create 5-7 pieces. We also don’t need all the linings and fusings until the design is approved for sampling. If need be, a designer can view the entire collection without cutting into a single piece of fabric. Normally sampling requires up to 3 samples before production taking up to 3 weeks each cycle. 3D development can reduce this to as little as 1 sample in a matter of hours/days depending on design. No fit model, just the designer and pattern maker. Imagine the cost to brands with 100 designs per season x 4 seasons per year. 3D development will not only save time but hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. There is also minimal waste so the environment wins.
 

Before we get carried away with the limitless capabilities of 3D development I must expose a few negatives.

To use CLO3D or any other similar software effectively, you have to be a skilled pattern-maker with graphics skills. We don’t have enough skilled people at pattern-maker level or the time to train existing workers who are under tight deadlines to adopt the graphics skills they will need in this 3D environment. There are also major costs involved when setting up the software and computers needed.

The pressure point in the 3D development process is on the pattern-maker. They will have to transition from a 2D to 3D mindset which some will struggle with. In conclusion, as much as we all want the fashion industry to adopt 3D, it will take years and a lot of investment and education to make the shift. It was the same when the fashion industry went from paper/cardboard patterns to digital. That took roughly 10 years!
 
 

Stay Tuned for next weeks profile on Neuno.
 
To find out more about the AFC FashTech Lab head to the program page on the AFC website.

A Letter From Leila, CEO Of The AFC | April 2022

First, I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
 

With May around the corner and as we edge closer towards AfterPay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW), I am filled with a sense of excitement and nervousness, as I truly believe this is our moment to unite and transform our industry together.
 

As many of you know, in May last year we were awarded a grant by the federal government to create a Certified trade mark (CTM) and develop a campaign to market Australian Fashion as a brand, locally and globally. After almost 12 months of countless hours of consultations, meetings and good-old-fashioned hard work, the AFC will be launching the CTM on the first day of AAFW at Carriageworks.
 

This CTM will be a world first in its ambition to position Australia’s fashion as the unique and progressive creative industry that it is. The CTM, together with a consumer campaign and website, which will be launched in August, will set the stage for Australian Fashion to continue to captivate the world with its effortless style, raw nature, boundless optimism and fearless innovation.
 

Our aim is to drive awareness and demand for Australian Fashion at home and abroad, by creating a unifying trade mark, campaign & platform that delivers profit and jobs to our sector while promoting responsible social and environmental practices.
 

Also at the event, thanks to Afterpay, we will be launching a new EY Report that will model the economic potential of our industry based on four key policy asks that we have recently presented to federal government on both sides of the political spectrum:
 

1. Promote the Australian Fashion CTM campaign locally and globally to turbo-charge local and export earnings

2. Make fibre and its derivatives (textiles, uniforms and clothing) a priority in the building of Australia’s sovereign capabilities

3. Boost women’s economic security by developing career pathways for women throughout their working life, addressing current and future industry skills gaps and opportunities

4. Build a workable and sustainable circular economy across Australia’s clothing, uniforms and textiles supply chain
 

As you can see, there is a lot to be excited and nervous (in a good way) about! Again, this is our moment. I hope you will join the AFC in transforming, strengthening and securing our industry for the future.
 

For those of you who are not yet AFC members, now is the time to join us to ensure that you are part of this game-changing journey. Become an AFC member here.
 

Thank you for your continued support of the Australian Fashion Council.

Leila Naja Hibri
CEO | Australian Fashion Council

The journey so far with our AFC FashTech Lab participants

Thank you for joining us on April 13th for the second AFC FashTech Lab Knowledge Exchange session where we brought our program participants back together to share their digital sampling journey so far and previewed their designs as they enter the digital toile stage.
 

Thank you to our technology partners; Bandicoot Imaging, CoutureCAD, Ponz Studio and Style Atlas; who shared insights into their incredible technologies whilst demonstrating the transformation from ideation to creation.
 

WATCH THE RECORDING OF THE SECOND KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE:

 

REGISTER FOR THE NEXT KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE:

Fashion 3.0...It's Sustainable

In our third Knowledge Exchange of the AFC FashTech Lab, our Fashion and Technology program participants are going to deep dive into the commercial viability of their current sampling strategy and discuss the sustainability benefits of transitioning to digital.
 
Hear from an expert panel on how Australian technology and Fashion brands might just be key to a better future.  How might we develop solutions to lessen environmental impact, increase resilience, build networks, create jobs and return value to the local community? Tune in as the panel discusses the potential for digital sampling to support the localisation of the fashion sampling supply chain in Australia.
 

Panelists Include:
- Dr Clara Vuletich, Circularity Coach and Advisor, Future Fashion Agency & Academy
- Dr Lisa Lake, Sustainable Fashion + Textiles Centre of Excellence, UTS
- Pete Smit, Founder & CEO, Style Atlas
 

DATE | Wednesday, May 4 2022
TIME | 9:00am - 10:00am
WHERE| Online via Zoom

REGISTER HERE
 

RESPONSES TO YOUR QUESTIONS HERE:
Throughout the session the tech brand representatives tried to respond to as many of your questions in the time we had. For questions that were missed, go to this link where you will find responses to all unanswered questions.
 

SAVE THE DATE:
TBC June 2022: Knowledge Exchange 4 and networking event.

A night of balance | My General Store at Edit Collection

Last week we had the pleasure of attending the launch of My General Store’s latest collection ‘Balance’ at Edit Collection, the retail concept store brought to you by the AFC, Vicinity Centres and Afterpay.
 

Media, industry players, influencers and models adorned in the new collection gathered at the store’s Chatswood Chase location to celebrate the triumphant residency of My General Store at Edit Collection over the past two months. Chosen based on the criteria of sustainability, mindful creativity, innovation, diversity and inclusivity, MGS’s new collection ‘Balance’ is an exploration on the duality of masculine and feminine and how those two themes can work together to create harmony.
 


 

Designed to be adored and re-worn for many years, My General Store design and manufacture all of their pieces on Australian shores whilst keeping planet in mind to reduce waste at every stage. The sustainable, less waste ethos is carried on throughout the store from clothing to fit out; with all hangers crafted in upcycled marine plastics, ocean bound plastics and post-consumer plastics supplied by Arch & Hook’s BLUE® Hanger Programme.
 


 

In line with the evening’s eco-focussed approach, guests enjoyed vegan catering courtesy of boutique Sydney company Radish who served cashew cheese canapes, cauliflower bowls and watermelon tuna.
 

You can shop My General Store at Edit Collection until April 13th, located at Shop L131, Level 1, Chatswood Chase, 345 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW 2067
 

What's coming next:
Stay tuned for the next resident brands, with First Nations Fashion + Design opening in May, and Esse Studios opening in July.
 

Head to the Edit Collection Program Page to find out more click here

Image Credit: Hanna Lassen - view her website here

Providing dignity & hope | Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre x Thread Together

Clothing is a basic human right. Sadly, in Australia, more than 3.5 million people do not have access to essential clothing. This equates to one in eight adults and one in six children. We spoke to Sasha Brown, Projects and Communications Lead at Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGEC) about the positive impact Thread Together has had on the women and families seeking refuge at the centre.
 
 

Q1. Can you tell us about what charity or venue you work with?

We are Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre or WAGEC and we work on the lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We are based in Redfern and operate 3 crisis accommodation sites and over 40 transitional accommodation sites for women and families across the inner-city and inner-west of Sydney. As well as supporting over 200 women and children every night, we also provide programs that build financial independence, nurture healing and wellbeing, enrich children’s development and prevent violence from happening in the first place. We support women and families to create safer futures and work with the community to end gender-based violence in a generation.
 

Q2. How did you first hear about Thread Together?

We first heard about Thread Together nearly two years ago through another community organisation who linked us up knowing how beneficial it would be for the women and families we support.
 

Q3. Can you tell us about receiving the clothing and how the recipients react once they receive the clothing that they chose?

These were some of the comments from the women made about Thread Together’s recent visit to the refuge.

"I’m so glad I came today. It was lovely sitting out in the sun with all the other mums, talking and laughing. And I went home with some clothes for me and my boy. Today is a good day."

"Oh my gosh, today is the best day. My boy asks for these shoes at the shops but they cost so much money, I have to say no all the time. He looks sad. Then this bus and the lovely ladies come and on the table are the same shoes, and in perfect size for my boy. I am over the moon and so very very happy. I cannot wait to surprise him when he comes home from school today. This will be the best day ever for him. I cannot wait to see his face. I got some lovely clothes for my children and myself, but these shoes for him, WOW!”
 

Q4. What has been the most rewarding moment at Thread Together?

The most rewarding moments have been seeing the excitement, confidence, and sense of renewed dignity among the women and families who receive the clothing from Thread Together. One woman, and mum of a 3-year-old, made the comment: “Oh I feel sexy. Just sexy for me, not for anyone else. It’s very nice to have some lovely clothes that make me feel happy.” Whether a woman is getting ready for a job, fitting out her children for the school year or building confidence after having a baby, it is these little moments that are worth celebrating.
 


 

The AFC are proud to partner with Thread Together to reduce landfill and give excess clothing a new life with people less fortunate. Visit our Thread Together Program page here to donate clothing or volunteer at Thread Together.

Jordan Dalah Studio | Finalist in the International Woolmark Prize

Seven of the world’s most promising emerging design talents have been selected for the 2022 International Woolmark Prize - the world’s original and most prestigious fashion awards and talent development program. Hundreds of applications were reviewed by an esteemed panel of industry members and The Woolmark Company to select the seven finalists. Among the finalists is Australian Designer Jordan Dalah, who we had the pleasure of asking a few questions about his history, processes and what to expect from his merino wool collection.
 
 

Q1. Jordan, congratulations on being named a finalist in the 2022 International Woolmark Prize! Before we jump into that, can you tell us a bit about your time at Central Saint Martins and how your studies there have informed/influenced your design direction today?

From very early on in my fashion career, when I was a student at Central Saint Martins I discovered that working with Merino wool jersey is an absolute joy. Because it is a natural fibre, it feels and looks different to other jerseys. It has fine specks of natural slubbing that gives it character. It also takes colour and dye really beautifully. Using Merino wool jersey feels like cheating sometimes because the fabric does a lot of the work for you.
 
Since leaving Central Saint Martins and returning to Australia, it’s really been about establishing a strong identity. I don’t want to be one of those brands that’s known for one silhouette, or aesthetic. I find my brand to be a slow-burning brand, and I think that is the best case for a brand to exist. And I feel like I’m at a point now where people see something, and they know it’s my brand.
 
My time at Central Saint Martins helped me find a perfect balance between my brand’s commerciality and strong and uncompromisingly bold aesthetic.
 
 

Q2. With local manufacturing and sustainability becoming more front of mind for fashion spectators and consumers, can you tell us about what conscious practices you implement at Jordan Dalah Studio?

As a small independent brand where every scrap of fabric and every roll of pattern cutting paper counts, I am naturally always finding ways to work sustainably. I design, sample and manufacture all my garments in Australia. I feel that it is my job as a new generation of designers to preserve the small but important and highly skilled manufacturing industry that still exists and operates in both Sydney and Australia. I believe that the art of preserving artisanal clothes is what makes Jordan Dalah a unique brand and, in turn, a sustainable brand. My Woolmark Prize collection is made from 100% deadstock material, sourced from luxury brands around the world whose fabric would otherwise be destroyed.
 
 

Q3. As one of the seven finalists of the International Woolmark Prize you’ve received a AU$60,000 grant for the development of a Merino collection under this year’s theme ‘Play’. Can you tell us about what you’ve been working on and what you’ll be presenting?

I’ll be presenting a collection made from 100% deadstock fabric. I always aim to bring historic codes of dressing into a contemporary space. I am inspired by the dramatic silhouettes found in theatre costume, but similarly I am also always referencing the simplicity of everyday dress. I have loved bringing these worlds together through my collection.
 
I started looking at the natural tones on wool, loving all the milky shades of off white that become lighter or more buttery depending on the percentage of wool to polyester. My color palette takes shape from these milky tones that are contrasted with the red and blue markings of spray paint on the sheep. It is a subtle reference to the wool industry but powerful because it’s this small gesture and acknowledgement of the beauty of the sheep that has fueled my Woolmark Prize collection. With this collection I am using silhouettes synonymous with my brand to interpret the brief.
 
 

Q4. How would winning the 2022 International Woolmark Prize help you build your brand, what's next for Jordan Dalah?

To me the Woolmark Prize is one of the most creative prizes a designer can be part of. It is nice to have the recognition from such a prestigious judging panel but similarly to also be an Australian designer that is doing something a little different when it comes to designing and establishing a brand. Having Woolmark not only acknowledge but support and believe in what I do really solidifies my place on the international fashion circuit.
 
Just being part of this competition alone has opened doors to Wool suppliers and innovative wool factories globally that I will continue to use and work with. The opportunity to meet with the judging panel is incredibly exciting and I can't wait to show them more of my brand. Winning the Woolmark Prize will allow me to more easily embark on projects I otherwise might have not been able to do without the generosity of having received the Woolmark prize.
 
 

To find out more about the 2022 International Woolmark Prize, click here

AIME 'reclAIMEd' | Reimagining fashion waste for good

AIME is an Australian charity tackling educational inequality through creatively connecting marginalised kids with mentorship programs and advocating Indigenous intelligence for a better world. Launched in 2005 by a 19-year-old Indigenous Australian, the charity now works in over 52 countries, and has helped educate and uplift more than 25,000 kids globally.

 

The Program is excited to announce the first brand partners for the AIME ‘ReclAIMEd’ dead-stock charity initiative. The opportunity allows brands to creatively reimagine their dead-stock fabrics and garments, enhance their ethical and environmental sustainability, and support the educational mentorships of marginalised kids in need. They welcome Arnsdorf, Bondi Born, Kit-X, Maurie & Eve, MJ Bale, and Nagnata, with more brand partners to be announced soon. Sounds like fun? It’s not too late to join.

 

Email celeste@sonzaistudios.com to hear more.

 

Through their ethos of ‘unlikely connections for a fairer world’ ReclAIMEd is a new initiative by AIME to offer brands the chance to use their dead-stock for good. Designers reimagine their excess fabrics and stock, creating avant-garde one-offs for auction or simply re-cutting best sellers with dead-stock fabrics, selling the pieces through their channels with the proceeds going to AIME - a truly unique opportunity.

 

Through a partnership with the ReclAIMEd program, brands get the opportunity to enhance their brand’s ethical and environmental sustainability, reduce waste and support the educational mentorships of marginalised kids in need.

 

Acknowledging the process of creating the garments will vary between brands, you have complete autonomy to work with your resource availability and timeline. All you need to do is try! There is no long term commitment, and you can choose to do as many (or as little!) pieces as you please. The creative is completely left to you!

 

The deadline to sign on is April 30, with the celebration of the launch happening through AIME’s online ‘Fashion for Good Week’ - 2nd-5th May 2022.

 

Read more here or contact the manager of the program from Sonzai Studios directly: celeste@sonzaistudios.com

AFC Volunteering at Thread Together: Team Building during lockdown 2021

Whilst the AFC team were working from home during lockdown, only communicating by email and Zoom, with some of us yet to meet face to face, we booked in our volunteering session at Thread Together to help get clothing out to communities in need.
 

Whilst enduring Sydney’s 2021 lockdown, with precautions in place and masks on, AFC team members the AFC team spent half a day at the Thread Together HQ picking and packing orders for people who otherwise wouldn’t have had access to new clothing.

Aside from giving these donated clothes a new life and reverting them from landfill, it was a fantastic time to get to know each other and interact outside of Zoom.
 

The process of picking and packing orders is a simple task, although when you add on the amount of clothing that goes out daily based on the recipients style choice, size and age, it becomes a process of problem solving that in the AFC’s case, got us talking, collaborating and really building our togetherness as a team.
 

During our session we were able to talk to the Volunteers at Thread Together, listening to triumphant success stories of how these clothes make an immense positive impact on so many people's lives. Stories of young girls in rural communities receiving dresses for their school formal or clothing entire families who are doing it tough. After just a few hours we had helped the Thread Together team get these orders ready to be picked up and sent out plus got to know each other a whole lot better.
 

"Volunteering at Thread Together was an amazing experience for multiple reasons. The first being I met my manger for the first time outside of our weekly zoom meetings, and the second was that we were collectively spending time helping the charity and the recipients who would soon be receiving their delivery of brand new, unworn clothes.

The process of registering to volunteer and learning the ropes was made easy by the incredible team at Thread Together, plus a fun playlist to bop to whilst we picked and packed."

- Hannah, Communications and Content Coordinator
 

For more information on volunteering with Thread Together and how you and your team can get involved, click here.

It all starts with a thread | Meet Anthony Chesler, CEO of circular fashion charity Thread Together

Founded in 2012 with the simple idea to donate over dispose, Australian charity Thread Together has been diverting clothing from landfill by collecting brand new, unsold clothes from brands all around the country and providing them to people and communities in need. We spoke to Anthony Chesler, CEO of Thread Together about the inner workings of the charity along with what the coming year holds.
 
 

Q1. Before Thread Together you worked in a leadership role within management consulting. What led to you Thread Together and how has your previous experience informed your role as CEO?

Working in the not-for-profit space is new for me. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, I began my career at EY and later co-founded a technology business in 2000 which evolved into a management consultancy driving profit improvement which was later acquired by global outsourcing business.
 
After helping to solve many complex problems for large local and global organisations, I started searching for more meaningful complex problems to solve and I also wanted to know that the time I was spending was not necessarily lining shareholder value but actually helping people in need, particularly vulnerable Australians as well as our environment.
 
“A lot of people go, ‘Well, you have to be successful first to be able to then give back’. I was of the belief that you can give back along the journey and you don’t have to wait until the back end of your career to contribute,”
 
 

Q2. With more than 3 million units of clothing delivered by Thread Together to communities in need, can you unpack that number by giving us some insight into the day to day proceedings at the Thread Together HQ?

Thread Together has diverted more than 3 million pieces of clothing from landfill and this number continues to grow each day.
 
Every week, we are working alongside registered charities, welfare and social service agencies to provide clothing to more than 2,000 Australians doing it tough.
 
These include women escaping domestic violence, homeless adults, and children, and those who just arrived in the country seeking refuge. New clothing is also provided to the long-term unemployed, seeking equal standing when going to an interview, those coming out of long-term health care, and many who are rebuilding their lives after being devastated by the droughts, floods and the bushfires and more recently the pandemic.
 
In a typical week we send nearly 25,000 units of clothing all around the country.
 
Thread Together offers a frictionless solution to brands to manage their excess stock in the most ethical way.
 
When ready, we arrange to collect the products and bring them back to our centre. Then every day we host our network of corporate and community volunteers as well as many fashion brands to help us to sort the clothes into categories and sizes so that they are ready to be given to someone in need, for example a person returning to the workforce having been unemployed for a long time is given a new suit, shirts, ties, shoes etc.
 
 

Q3. Can you tell us about the Thread Together Clothing Hubs/offering that ‘in-store’ experience within communities in need?

When we give clothes to people, we provide choice to them, in the same way that we choose what we want to wear. This is very important to empowering people and restoring dignity and hope for a better tomorrow.
 
Today, we have three ways in which we give clothing to people. The first is what we call a “clothing hub”. We have created an authentic shopping experience for someone doing it tough. How does this work? Well, social service agencies all around the country, provide a “gift card” (a voucher or a referral) to their clients to come into our “clothing hubs” to browse, try-on and select clothing that meets their style. Often, they are being supported and styled by a fashion brand that donates clothing to us. The people that we are helping can access clothes for themselves and their children. A typical wardrobe for a person in need can be 30-40 units of clothing or more than 50 units for someone that has left a domestic and abusive relationship with nothing.
 
The second way we provide new clothing to people is via a fleet of our mobile wardrobes stationed around the country. These vehicles are fitted out with a walk-in-wardrobe and merchandised with appropriate clothing. We drive to community partners around the country and give their clients the opportunity to choose clothes. Our fleet used extensively during natural disasters.
 
The final way is via online, in this case, social-workers sit alongside their clients and help them to select clothes, in the same way that anyone shops online – exact same experience. Being able to offer a service online means we can get clothing to people in need all around the country every day.
 
In 2022 we will be introducing a new way to give clothing to people. We will be delivering a physical modular wardrobe with a capsule or clothing to women’s shelters and crisis accommodation centres around the country. In doing so, we will be able to provide immediate access to women and children that have escaped a domestic and abusive relationship with essential clothes on arrival (e.g. underwear, pjs, loungewear).
 
 

Q4. What has been the most exciting/triumphant moment during your time at Thread Together?

Being able to provide a small amount of dignity at someone's most difficult moment is a truly humbling and rewarding experience. Unfortunately, the opportunity to create these moments is only increasing as the frequency of major crises increases – the compounding impact of the pandemic, bushfires, floods, those seeking refuge from Afghanistan on top of the ever-growing daily need of those experiencing vulnerability across Australia cannot be understated.
 
 

Q5. What's the best way for brands to approach partnering with Thread Together?

Our website is a great place to start, and no clothing donation is too small – we would be happy to arrange to collect the donation as well.
 
Many brands partner with us beyond donating new clothing, for example, some brands bring their teams to volunteer at our fulfilment centre in our clothing hubs. Other brands lend us some talent (i.e. skilled volunteering) and quite a large number of brands support us with a small financial donation.
 
Head over to our website to learn more and get involved
 
 

Q6. What’s next for Thread Together? Any exciting developments or upcoming programs?

We are excited and optimistic for the year ahead and we are working on two new innovative solutions to keep clothing in circulation and clothe communities in need.
 
The first is the installation of modular wardrobes inside women’s refuges and crisis accommodation centres around the country. This ensures that we can meet the immediate need for new clothing when women and children arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing.
 
The second is several innovative collaborations with iconic Australian designers and partners which focuses on helping us to better manage product where supply currently exceeds demand with the mantra of keeping clothing in circulation at its highest value for as long as possible.
 
Finally, this is our tenth year, so we will be celebrating all our partners that have helped us to keep clothing in circulation and clothe communities in need.
 
 

The AFC are proud to partner with Thread Together to reduce landfill and give excess clothing a new life with people less fortunate. Visit our Thread Together Program page here to donate clothing or volunteer at Thread Together.

The 3D digital design and sampling process with our AFC FashTech Lab participants

Thank you for joining us on March 2nd for the first FashTech Lab Knowledge Exchange session where we caught up with our fashion and tech participants to discuss what a 3D development workflow looks like and how it stacks up against a traditional physical sampling workflow.
 

Thank you to our technology partners; Bandicoot Imaging, CoutureCAD, Ponz Studio and Style Atlas; who demonstrated how their software and services work together to tackle a new, more sustainable sampling process.
 

WATCH THE RECORDING OF THE FIRST KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

 

REGISTER FOR THE NEXT KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE:
At the next milestone, the fashion and technology businesses will deep dive into challenges of transitioning through a digital 3D sampling process, discuss collaborative solutions and how technology can help. Register for the second Knowledge Exchange Session coming up on Wednesday, 6 April. Register here
 

RESPONSES TO YOUR QUESTIONS HERE:
Throughout the session the tech brand representatives tried to respond to as many of your questions in the time we had. For questions that were missed, go to this link where you will find responses to all unanswered questions.
 

SAVE THE DATE:
Wednesday 4 May 2022: Knowledge Exchange 3, delivered remotely via ZOOM;
TBC June 2022: Knowledge Exchange 4 and networking event.

Product Stewardship Scheme Town Hall Meeting Notes

On 2 February the AFC and Consortium members held our first open industry session to start the conversation around co-designing a National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme: A Roadmap to Clothing Circularity in Australia.

With almost 400 industry members participating from all facets of the fashion and textile eco-system, we are off to a good start.
 

Thank you to everyone who registered and attended our very first Product Stewardship Scheme Town Hall Meeting. We are humbled at the amount of engagement, positivity and collaboration we saw during the Town Hall through the Chat and Q&As.
 

In case you missed it, you can watch the recording below and download the Q&A’s.
 

The Scheme aims to improve the design, recovery, reuse and recycling of textiles, providing a roadmap to 2030 for clothing circularity in Australia in line with National Waste Policy Action Plan targets. The development of this Scheme requires the entire industry to come together, to contribute and have your say in how the Scheme will deliver the best outcomes - environmentally, socially and economically.
 

We would like to thank Yatu Widders-Hunt who commenced our proceedings with a wonderful Acknowledgement of Country; The Minister for the Environment, The Hon. Sussan Ley, MP for her support and commitment to sustainability; John Gertsakis from the Product Stewardship Centre for Excellence; Industry speakers Chris Foley (Kmart Group), Eloise Bishop (Country Road Group) and Courtney Holm (A.BCH); Consortium members, Omer Soker (Charitable Recycling Australia), Dr Alice Payne (QUT), Peter Allan (SRU), Claire Kneller (WRAP) and Leila Naja Hibri (AFC); Key collaborators, National Retail Association (NRA), Australian Retailers Association (ARA), Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association (WMRR) and Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR), and dozens of other stakeholders across the entire clothing value chain including brands, retailers, industry, academia and federal, state and local governments.
 

WATCH THE WEBINAR RECORDING HERE:


 

RESPONSES TO YOUR QUESTIONS HERE:
Throughout the session we tried to respond to as many of your questions in the time we had. For those questions we missed go to this link where you will find responses against the key themes that arose.
 

If you would like to join 'Scheme Design' workshops, or 'Industry Roadmap' workshops, or suggest a sub-segment you may like to work on with others in that area please register your interest here or email the consortium members directly, contact details below.
 

The Consortium will hold sessions with our Collaborators and Reference Group members over the coming months to develop the Scheme in more detail. We will then test our work with you.
 
 

THE CONSORTIUM

LEILA NAJA HIBRI
CEO, Australian Fashion Council
 

ALEX BOWEN
Project Manager, National Clothing Stewardship Scheme
Australian Fashion Council
abowen@ausfashioncouncil.com
 

OMER SOKER
CEO, Charitable Recycling Australia
omer@charitablerecycling.org.au
 

DR ALICE PAYNE
Associate Professor - Fashion, School Of Design, QUT.
a1.payne@qut.edu.au
 

PETER ALLAN
CEO, Sustainable Resource Use
peter.allan@sru.net.au
 

CLAIRE KNELLER
Head Of Asia Pacific, WRAP
claire.kneller@wrap.org.uk
 
 

IN CONSORTIUM WITH:

 

IN COLLABORATION WITH:

AFC Toolkits | Grants & Funding guide for Australian Fashion and Textiles

See what resources are available to you and your business in this handy guide that has been developed specifically for businesses in the Australian fashion & textile industry.

AFC Members can access the Grants and Funding Toolkit here.
 

AFC members have access to the newest addition in the AFC’s Business toolkit, developed with the key purpose of assisting the Australian Fashion and Textile industry navigate what grants and funding is available based on your business type and location.
 

Find what resources and access to funding you can receive from a Federal, State and Local level around innovation, exporting, sustainability, manufacturing and more.
 

Broken down into national opportunities and state by state, this evolving resource can guide you through what's out there, how much assistance you can receive and when to apply.
 

The sections are as follows;

1. National Opportunities
2. Victoria (VIC)
3. New South Wales (NSW)
4. Queensland (QLD)
5. South Australia (SA)
6. Western Australia (WA)
7. Tasmania (TAS)
8. Northern Territory (NT)
9. Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
 

AFC Members can access the Grants and Funding Toolkit here.
 

Published January 2022

Note: The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) makes every effort to ensure that information is accurate at the time of publication.

A Letter from Leila, CEO of the AFC | January 2022

First, I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
 

I feel so privileged to be back at the AFC and to send you this letter. I am hoping that you are all safe and well. I know many of you are dealing with the havoc of Omicron as we start this New Year. I know, like me, you were hoping the start of 2022 would be the beginning of the end for all the Covid-related obstacles we all faced last year. I also know that despite all of this, like we did last year, our sector will band together as a community and we will achieve great wins for the future of our industry.
 

2022 is going to be a very important year for us; a year that will mark a significant change and evolution not seen in decades in the Australian Fashion and Textile industry. With the help of great partners, the AFC has some amazing projects in the pipeline that will support our sector’s growth and prosperity including:
 

Australian Fashion Brand Project, a world first initiative to create an ‘Australian Fashion’ Certified Trade Mark & campaign to drive demand locally and globally for Australian Fashion.

National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme which will create a plan to improve the way we design, recover, reuse and recycle clothing in Australia - working towards a circular economy within our industry;

AFC FashTech Lab a testing ground for 3D design aimed at reducing waste and increasing sustainability.
 

From an advocacy perspective we will continue to lobby and communicate our industry’s needs to the government. In early February, we will be travelling to Parliament House in Canberra to discuss key Policy reform proposals that will help future-proof our industry, build our sovereign advanced manufacturing capability, accelerate the momentum of Australian Fashion’s nation brand and turbo-charge our export earnings. Keep an eye out for our soon to be released Election Manifesto that will give you more detail re the above.
 

For those of you who are not yet AFC members, now is the time to join us to ensure that you are part of this game-changing journey. Become an AFC member here.
 

Thank you for your continued support of the Australian Fashion Council.
 

Leila Naja Hibri
CEO | Australian Fashion Council

Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement: Good news for Australian-Made exporters to the UK.

Businesses that export Australian-made goods will benefit from immediate elimination of tariffs on over 99% of Australian goods exported to the UK, once the agreement is in force in 2022.

 

In December 2021, The Hon. Dan Tehan MP announced an Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) making Australian exports to the UK cheaper, and opening up more opportunities for Australian-made brands in the UK. The Australia-UK FTA is due to be in force in 2022. 

This is the most comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement that Australia has, other than with New Zealand, showing the Government’s commitment to free trade as a driver of economic growth and strong bilateral relationships.

The Australia-UK FTA delivers benefits for Australians across the board - the biggest win being that exporters will benefit from immediate elimination of tariffs on over 99 per cent of Australian goods exports to the UK, valued at around $9.2 billion, when the agreement enters into force. Australian businesses will also have the right to bid for a greater variety of UK government contracts worth an estimated half-a-trillion dollars annually.

UK businesses will be encouraged to invest in Australia thanks to best practice investment rules, including to set up regional headquarters in Australia to leverage our network of free trade agreements.

There are also benefits to farmers, professionals wanting to enter the UK workforce, young people travelling and more. The Hon. Dan Tehan MP shared details in the Press Release here

 

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR FASHION AND TEXTILE BUSINESSES

For Australian-origin fashion exports, the UK’s tariff will be 0 per cent at entry into force of the FTA.  

For goods to claim the preferential tariff rate under the Agreement, the goods must be Australian-origin (i.e. meet the requirements of Chapter 4 Rules of Origin).  

There are three ways for goods to be Australian-origin:

  1. 1. Goods that are wholly obtained in Australia (defined under Chapter 4 Article 4.3).
  2. 2. Goods produced using only Australian and/or UK materials, these goods will be originating as they are produced entirely in either or both Australia or the UK (see Chapter 4 Article 4.2 (b) ).  
  3. 3. Goods that are produced using materials sourced from countries other than Australia and the UK (non-originating materials).  

In this third case, the production performed on the non-originating materials must meet the relevant Product Specific Rule as listed in Annex 4-B Product Specific Rules here.

You will need to know the HS-Code for the good and then locate the relevant rule.  Goods classified as ‘Textiles and Garments’ are listed between Chapters 50 to 63, with footwear in Chapter 64.  

For greater certainty, you may wish to consider applying for an ‘Advance Ruling’ with the UK HM Royal Customs, which will provide an Australian trader with clarity as to whether the good is originating and can claim preferential tariff treatment under the Agreement (Chapter 5 Article 5.10 https://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/not-yet-in-force/aukfta/australia-uk-fta-official-text)

For more detailed information, see the official text here, in particular Annex 4B. 

We will wait for the announcement for the date that the FTA will be in force.

AFC FashTech Lab: Sustainable digital design workflows accelerate more fashion brands into the metaverse.

Applications for AFC FashTech Lab have now closed
 

The Australian Fashion Council with the support of City of Sydney has launched the AFC FashTech Lab program for fashion and textile businesses, commencing in January 2022. The aim of the program is to accelerate technology adoption in the first stages of the design process.
 

With fashion companies around the world expected to increase investment in digital innovation in 2022, the AFC FashTech Lab will give Sydney fashion and textiles businesses the opportunity to trial technology and contribute to creating an industry pathway to integrate or digital, sustainable design into their workflows.
 

The AFC FashTech Lab will launch with an incubator and networking event to take participants through futuremap®, a business diagnostic tool to test technology adoptions and readiness courtesy of the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC) and the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) , and a series of Knowledge Exchange workshops that will deep dive into the challenges faced as each brand pilots of a piece of technology and discuss collaborative solutions. Fashion business will be matched with a technology business for 1:1 sessions over the course of the program including peer to peer consulting and a trial of the technology solutions.
 

This program will be offered to a limited number of brands with businesses selected based on presence in the City of Sydney, ability to actively participate in the program, willingness to adopt new technology and upskill, as well as criteria of sustainability and mindful creativity.
 

Application close for the program 14th January 2022.
 

To find out more, head to the AFC FashTech Lab page here

Trend forecasting and consumer insights to inspire and future-proof brands | The Future Laboratory

The Future Laboratory is one of the world’s most renowned futures consultancies. With a unique blend of trend forecasting, consumer insight, foresight, brand strategy and innovation, they inspire and future-proof organisations.
 

AFC Members can receive a complimentary 2 months access to LS:N Global Premium, a subscription-based insights platform that documents new consumer behaviour and key industry trends to give business professionals the confidence to make informed decisions about the future - view here
 
 

How do you work with the fashion industry to deliver trends and market intelligence?

We deliver foresight through a number of products and services, including our trends intelligence platform, LS:N Global, and in person through our Strategic Services. Together, our strategic foresight helps clients such as Selfridges, Farfetch, LVMH, Reebok, H&M, Lululemon, Country Road Group, Chanel & P.E Nation to harness market trends, understand and adapt to emerging consumer needs, position their brands for success and keep them ahead of their competitors.

LS:N Global members can access our fashion sector to understand the key shifts and emerging talent driving change within the fashion industry globally.
 
 

Could you share some fashion industry insights & trends from 2021 and where you see it heading for 2022?

Trend 1: Eco-motional Fashion
As climate anxieties abound, a new wave of change-makers are paving the way for a more positive, human-centric approach to sustainable and ethical fashion.
 
The fashion industry is facing up to the need to operate beyond greenwashing tactics. But while most brands are aware of the need to make drastic changes to operate more sustainably, action needs to be taken to ensure the next generation of designers take an eco-conscious approach from the outset. Global consumers are demanding more from brands too, with a majority (80%) believing that brands must be transparent about their environmental impacts in the production of their goods and services (source: EY Future Consumer Index).
 
To encourage change in the industry, the Fashion Values platform comprises a three-year educational programme including events, insights and a challenge to stimulate sustainable innovation. In a launch film about the project, the programme creators explain: ‘The future of fashion depends on what we value. The future of fashion depends on how we imagine ourselves to be.’
 
Beyond education, such initiatives are also set to pave the way for future job roles centred on sustainable innovation. These positions will focus on legacy as a key tenet of decision-making, considering the ways that today’s products and services will affect future citizens.

Read the article here
 
 

Trends 2: Food’s Fashion Strategy
Fashion is becoming a lucrative strategy for food, drink and dining brands, leading to new revenue streams, collaborations and highlighting brand values.
 
Following a year of instability and restaurant closures, food and beverage brands have had to innovate to survive.
 
While local deliveries, meal kits and gift vouchers have helped to boost income, one additional way companies are expanding their product offering is through fashion and apparel.
 
By releasing garments that celebrate the pleasure of eating, as well as focusing on their impact as taste-makers, food brands and restaurants are using fashion to secure long-term alternative revenue streams, showcase their brand’s ethics and embark on unexpected collaborations. 'If it seems strange that people want to advertise where they get their pizza from, remember we are living in an age of merch… [and] a time when brands are expected to present a three-dimensional face to the world,’ writes Ellie Violet Bramley for The Guardian.

Read the article here
 
 

Trend 3: Fashion Rental Market
Fashion rental services are evolving to provide new revenue streams, peer-led style inspiration and convenience that benefits brands and consumers.
 
Over the past decade, fashion rental services have emerged in the luxury sector as a way to diversify access to products with high price points – spearheaded by platforms such as Rent the Runway and Front Row.
 
Since then, garment rental has filtered down to high street brands, and more recently into peer-to-peer swaps.
 
Now, however, cross-sector opportunities are emerging for fashion rental to meet the needs of consumers in a range of lifestyle situations, largely driven by greater acceptance of rental services among Millennials and Generation Z. ‘For the younger generation, the idea of access over ownership is something they fully embrace,' explains Sacha Newall, CEO and co-founder of rental marketplace My Wardrobe HQ.

Read the article here
 
For more fashion trends for 2022, keep an eye out for our Future Forecast 2022 report launching on December 10th.
 
 

What’s next for The Future Laboratory?

We are launching our annual Future Forecast 2022 report in December, featuring 50 essential trends across 10 key sectors. The report will be available on The Future Laboratory shop or free for members of LS:N Global.

We have also just announced the latest expansion of our global network and associated partnerships with LATAM’s prestigious Box 1824, and Germany and Benelux’s The Cronos Group and &Koo that furthers our collective ambitions to become one of the most connected independent foresight networks globally.
 
 

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Australian Designer Jordan Dalah chosen as 2022 International Woolmark Prize finalist

Seven of the world’s most promising emerging design talents including Australian Designer Jordan Dalah, have been selected for the 2022 International Woolmark Prize - the world’s original and most prestigious fashion awards and talent development program.

 

The 2022 International Woolmark Prize finalists are:

 

In July 2021, hundreds of applications were reviewed by an esteemed panel of industry members and The Woolmark Company to select the seven finalists. 

 

This year’s program theme, Play, will be a true celebration of forward-thinking design and innovation. Finalists are invited to play and experiment with textiles, design and business practices to drive change and innovation for a brighter future.

 

Each finalist will receive a AU$60,000 grant for the development of a Merino collection and will be supported by the program’s education and mentoring initiative, the Innovation Academy, which includes mentoring from industry leaders, such as: Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Stylist & Editor, Holli Rogers, Chief Brand Officer, Farfetch, Sinéad Burke, Educator and Advocate, Sara Sozzani Maino, Head of Vogue Talents, Deputy Director Vogue Italia & Int Brand, Shaway Yeh, Founder YehYehYeh and Group Style Editorial Director Modern Media Group and Tim Blanks, Editor-at-Large, Business of Fashion.

 

The Awards

The seven finalists will present a Merino wool collection for Autumn/Winter 2022 highlighting transparency throughout their supply chain and, alongside partner Common Objective, will build a sustainability roadmap. The winners will be selected by a prestigious panel of industry experts, to be announced, in April 2022.

 

One finalist will be awarded the International Woolmark Prize and receive AU$200,000 to invest in the development of their business. The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation will be awarded to another finalist, with the winner receiving AU$100,000. The Woolmark Supply Chain Award will also be presented, celebrating outstanding contribution from a trade partner driving wool supply chain innovation.

 

About The Woolmark Company:

The Woolmark Company is the global authority on wool. Through our extensive network of relationships spanning the international textile and fashion industries, we highlight Australian wool’s position as the ultimate natural fibre and premier ingredient in luxury apparel.

 

The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands, providing assurance of the highest quality, and representing pioneering excellence and innovation from farm through to finished product.

 

The Woolmark Company is a subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation, a not-for-profit enterprise that conducts research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian wool on behalf of about 60,000 woolgrowers that help fund the company.

 

GDPR Compliance for selling online in Europe | Marque Lawyers

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in European law designed to protect the personal data of individuals in the European Union. Its primary aim is to give individuals protection, rights of control over and access to their data held by entities both within and outside the EU. 

 

Produced by AFC Patron Member Marque Lawyers, AFC Members have access to the GDPR Compliance Checklist located in the Business Toolkit - View here

 

What is the GDPR

Its full title is the General Data Protection Regulation, and it is a set of rules governing the collection, use and disclosure of personal data of people residing in the EU. It is certainly the most strict set of privacy laws worldwide, and is quickly becoming the benchmark for businesses operating internationally.

 

But I’m an Australian business, does it apply to me?

Possibly. Unlike Australian privacy law, the test of whether a business is bound by the GDPR is based on the location of its customers, not the location of the business.

If you satisfy any of these three tests you will be bound:

 

  1. 1. A presence in the EU. If you have an office or stores in any EU country;

 

  1. 2. Offer goods or services to people in the EU. This is the test which causes the most angst. There are a few issues to consider here, the mere fact that people in the EU can purchase your product online is not enough to make you bound. Instead, the regulator will look at whether you target customers in the EU, which could include enabling payment in EU currencies, having EU language versions of your website, and engaging with advertising targeted at people in the EU; or

 

  1. 3. Monitoring the behaviour of individuals in the EU. This includes tracking the online behaviour of customers in the EU who visit your website via cookies.

 

Also, there is no turnover threshold – businesses of any size will be caught. Australian businesses are only bound by the privacy laws here once their turnover exceeds $3 million, so many Australian brands find themselves needing to comply with the GDPR while not having any privacy obligations at home.

 

How do I comply?

Overall, the rules are quite similar to those in Australia, but just more extreme. There are more strict IT security measures, methods of obtaining consent from customers to use their data, record keeping obligations, and quite specific contractual obligations which must be in place with suppliers who you might disclose personal data to.

 

You may also be required to appoint a person to act as your representative in the EU.

 

The data breach reporting obligations are much stricter than in Australia, and you will generally have to report a data breach to the regulator (and the individuals affected) within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach. You need to have internal procedures in place to assess and manage data breaches.

 

Your privacy policy will also need some tweaks to be GDPR compliant.

 

Also, customers have much stronger rights to tell you what to do with your information. This includes a right to be forgotten (with some exceptions) – if a customer requests it, you must delete all the data you have on them.

 

What are the consequences if I am in breach?

 Severe. The maximum fine a business can face for breaching the GDPR is EUR 20 million or 4% of turnover (whichever is greater).

 

Google is currently the gold medal holder for largest GDPR fine – in 2019 it was hit with a EUR 50 million fine for not seeking proper consent to use customers’ data for targeting advertising.

 

Does it also apply in the UK post Brexit?

 Basically, yes. While technically not the GDPR anymore, the UK adopted all of the rules of GDPR as their own domestic laws post Brexit.

 

Conclusion

 The GDPR is a pain, but compliance is manageable.

Enhancing supply chains, manufacturing processes and product quality | Sourcing by Design

Sourcing By Design (SBD) is a boutique fashion sourcing and design agency, collaborating with both Australian and international brands, aiming to enhance their aesthetic, expand product categories and grow their business. With dedicated teams in Brisbane, China and Hong Kong, SBD works across all categories including womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, accessories and lifestyle products in the contemporary and luxury markets.

 

 

Can you tell us about a brand that you have worked with and how you helped them improve their supply chain, sourcing and manufacturing processes? 

As a fashion sourcing and design agency, assisting our clients to enhance their supply chain, manufacturing processes and product quality is at the heart of what we do. In our earlier years when founding Director Katie Macdonald was based in Hong Kong, SBD was approached by one of our now long-standing clients to assist with their production. At the time of enquiry, the brand was producing in Bali and experiencing inconsistent quality and unreliable delivery timeframes that were difficult to manage. 

 

To help the brand achieve better quality and more certainty in delivery, SBD was able to facilitate a new relationship for the brand in China from our existing network of reliable factories. While manufacturing continued in Bali, SBD coordinated new product development and commenced production with the new supplier. For the brand, an increase in minimum order quantities (MOQs) was a necessary investment, however the supplier’s in house technical capabilities and quality control, coupled with SBD’s effective communication and pre-shipment inspections quickly resulted in a higher quality product and delivery of orders within the agreed schedule.  

 

As the brand’s agent, SBD formed a strong relationship with the new suppliers in China. After a few years, the brand’s confidence in the new supplier was certain, enabling them to completely shift their manufacturing from Bali to China. The brand has significantly benefited from these relationships and experienced considerable growth in recent years having developed a reputation for a high quality product and confidence with their customer base. Product development is now a more collaborative process between the brand, SBD and the supplier and open communication has allowed for sharing of information in relation to trends, material sourcing and availability and most importantly, resolving any complications that may arise. 

 

 

What advice did you provide the brand on creating a transparent and sustainable supply chain?

With a focus on sustainability in recent years, the brand engaged SBD to assist them with improving the social and environmental impacts and transparency in their supply chain.  While SBD’s initial enquiries in the market resulted in many barriers such as green washing, false claims and band-aid solutions, perseverance in researching and educating in this space has proven critical in SBD finding suppliers who are aligned with the brand’s values. By committing to only working with suppliers that share the same sustainable goals, SBD has been successful in implementing improvements for the brand in raw material sourcing, manufacturing, operations and packaging. The brand is now using raw materials from reliable sources including suppliers licensed by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Leather Working Group (LWG), has achieved full transparency to tier 3 in their supply chain and working with manufacturers agreeable to regular social and environmental audits in alignment with SEDEX. They are also excited to be launching their new sustainably sourced and designed packaging this season. 

 

As experienced by this brand, it can be overwhelming to know where to start when setting out to create a transparent and sustainable supply chain. With all the information available in this space it can be difficult to pinpoint what will add value to your brand. For any size business, mapping out your supply chain and assessing each tier is the best place to start. 

 

Look at the pros and cons of each element and identify any gaps in information. Areas that need attention or the ‘low hanging fruit’ will normally become visible in this process and any improvements implemented will make an impact to the business. It is important to remember that it is a continual journey, one that needs regular review and adjusting or refining your goals. With this in mind, set immediate tangible goals for improvement and also long term strategic goals to be reviewed as your brand grows.

 

As SBD work with more brands from differing product categories, we also continue to learn about new innovations and furthering our own network of manufacturing and raw material suppliers. The continued growth of our existing clients has been a pleasure to watch, particularly in this difficult economic environment and we are excited to welcome new brands to SBD to assist them on their journey.

 

What is Sourcing By Design offering AFC Members?

If you are a brand who needs collaborative design and development support, supplier sourcing or production assistance, we invite Australian Fashion Council members to a complimentary half hour consultation with Director Katie Macdonald to learn more about our services. Should you choose to proceed with our services, SBD will take 10% off the cost of our services for 6 months. We welcome you to get in touch.

Connect with Sourcing by Design

 

 

Meet Jordan Gogos | Founder and designer of Iordanes Spyridon Gogos

 

Sydney based designer and AFC Member Jordan Gogos debuted his namesake brand at AAFW 2021. The highly anticipated event saw ‘wearable art’ and structural pieces featuring bold colours, eclectic prints and a diverse range of models walk the runway amongst painted objects designed in collaboration with 25 different artists, creatives and brands. We spoke to Jordan about his experience at AAFW and what’s next for the brand.

 

IORDANES SPYRIDON GOGOS BTS by Jamie Heath

 

Can you tell us about your background and how Iordanes Spyridon Gogos came to be?

I started ISG as an experimental brand when I got back from NYC. I had been working solely on my furniture brand, GOGOS for three years - mainly within fashion contexts. The objects were constantly on set, in still life shots, in concept stores. The pieces were almost like their own fashion label. With COVID lockdowns and no access to machinery or storage, I was hyper aware of the buzz that circulates the fashion industry, so I thought if I make a logo and a website with these articles of mainly painted clothing I was making at the time, what will the response be? My first iteration of the brand name was Jordan Gogos, but I felt removing my Anglo-Saxon name out of it, and presenting my Greek name would show the shift in the practice from individual to brand.

 

Iordanes Spyridon Gogos By Jamie Heath

 

What does ‘Australian’ Fashion & Design mean to you?

Centring indigenous/ First Nation fashion first and foremost. Second to that, Australian fashion is interchangeable and has moved into a space that has little firm fixtures! “Resort” collections came about as a solution to clarifying what collections season is if it’s not SS/AW… we’re seeing classified design fade away, and an absolute freedom in having opposite seasons to the rest of the world. We’re catering towards a global audience as we can release a bikini and knit in one show, so there’s really something for everyone across the world. There’s no one who understands, more than Australian’s the frustration of wanting to buy shorts in summer and only winter collections are available at your go-to brand. This is definitely translating on the runway, in installations, on the street, on social media - we’re making it up as we go along and it’s a hell of a lot more fun!

 

Iordanes Spyridon Gogos by Jamie Heath

 

Can you tell us about the experience of presenting at AAFW 2021? What was the biggest obstacle you faced and how did you overcome it? 

The brand really became, ‘a brand’, at Afterpay AustralianFashion Week. It was the most exciting thing to build a show gradually without mood-boards, without anything to show collaborators and the team. The biggest obstacle was definitely pitching the brand to partners, stakeholders and collaborators to be involved without any precedent. A brand that is so hands-on, and dare I say “arty” always does have a bit of a risk factor attached to it - how far will they go, is it just frayed edges and raw seams? Pushing the boundaries to show what we’re able to achieve was the most rewarding thing.

 

Iordanes Spyridon Gogos by Jamie Heath

 

What’s next for Iordanes Spyridon Gogos? Any exciting projects in the pipeline? 

More than ever! Our Melbourne Fashion Week install launched last week. I'm a part of Melbourne Art Fair as a brand ambassador and will be doing a bar with Glenfiddich whisky… I think that’s all I can say!? We’re venturing into all sorts of things fashion, non-fashion… the brand has become a vessel to access new and exciting things for everyone involved in ISG, so it’s all new to us and we’re grabbing the bull by the horns and running with it!

 

Images by Jamie Heath 

Connect with Iordanes Spyridon Gogos

 

Home to four of Australia’s top emerging designers | Edit Collection

On Wednesday, November 10th 2021 the AFC, in collaboration with Vicinity Centres and Afterpay, officially launched Edit Collection. The experiential retail space leveraging new technologies will host four of Australia’s top emerging brands over the next 10 months.

 

Bondi Born, My General Store, First Nations Fashion & Design and Esse Studios were selected for Edit Collection based on the criteria of sustainability, mindful creativity, innovation, diversity and inclusivity, as well as their ability to celebrate Australian fashion and culture.

 

The Edited Collection store interior

 

The store launch hosted at Chatswood Chase saw industry, media and the creatives behind the brands come together to celebrate a moment that felt victorious after enduring months of restrictions and lockdowns. The brightly coloured designs from Bondi Born popped against the store's futuristic, sleek interiors designed by Sydney-based art director Kyle Jonsson.

 

With sustainability being a major consideration in the selection process, founder Dale McCarthy and creative director Karla Clarke of swimwear and resort label, Bondi Born, spoke to Vogue Australia on the importance of sustainability within the fashion industry and how the opening of the store marks a turning point for Australian Fashion. 

 

“These are crazy times, Covid has disrupted supply chains, up-ended retail businesses, and moved people’s shopping habits online. Only recently, world leaders have sat up and realised we all need to do something about climate change.”

“But I hope there is a movement towards a more considered fashion, where consumers realise that fast fashion, at ‘those’ prices, means that people and the planet are being greatly compromised in the process of their creation and the waste they create.”

 

Bondi Born in Edit Collection

 

The store is fitted out with hangers made from upcycled marine plastics, ocean bound plastics and post-consumer plastics supplied by Arch & Hook and brands are supported with education resources from experts in merchandise planning, SMART IN PLANNING plus human resource training from UMENCO.

 

Arch & Hook recycled hangers at Edit Collection

 

Louisa Galligani from Afterpay hosted a Q&A session with Kellie Hush from the AFC, Kirsty Ghahramani from Afterpay and Corrine Barchanowicz from Vicinity Centres discussing the benefits of omni-channel retailing and embracing new technologies in physical locations.

 

Louisa Galligani, Kellie Hush, Kirsty Ghahramani and Corrine Barchanowicz at Edit Collection

 

The store debuted eTale in Australia, the developers of a Bluetooth chip tag that allows each product in store to be tracked in real time. The chips communicate with Smart Mirrors, allowing customers to browse alternative and related products, and use the gesture-controlled screens to shoot and share selfies from the fitting room. The chips immediately deliver analytics to the brand on the most engaged, most tried and most sold pieces so they can make data-driven decisions on merchandising, VM and more.

 

You can now shop Bondi Born in store, with the 2022 program launching with My General Store, First Nations Fashion + Design and Esse Studios.

 

Store Location:

Shop L131, Level 1, Chatswood Chase, 345 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW 2067

 

Image credit: Jessica Wong from One Green Bean

Retail Solutions with Pop up on Demand

Pop up on Demand helps both online and offline brands set up their physical retail spaces. With the goal of making retail easy for everyone, they can supply POS, staffing, marketing and space to help you succeed and champion your retail experience.
 

RETAIL POP UP SUCCESS STORY FOR RUNAWAY THE LABEL:

Runaway the label, a Sydney based brand needed a solution for their 3 month pop up at Robina Town Centre in Queensland. Pop up on demand was engaged to provide a quick solution as they were taking a vacant Forever New store and needed to be trading in 2 weeks.
 
Pop up plans were formulated on Tuesday with agreements signed on Friday. We managed to set up the store on the following Tuesday with the pop up opening on Thursday within two weeks of plans being approved.
 
We provided a turn key pop up solution that featured clothing racks, display tables and a mobile POS terminal and since all of Pop up on demand furniture has been pre-approved by the major shopping centre groups in Australia, we were able to get everything done very quickly without wasting time on approvals.
 
Runaway the label pop up was so successful that they extended it for another 3 months.
 

Any exciting developments, collaborations or events in the pipeline you would like to highlight to our community?

As we start to reopen in the major retail centres of Victoria and NSW, there will be significant opportunities, in both the supply, and demand side for pop up retailing.
 
Many pure-play online retailers have grown up during COVID-19 and now need to test and try out physical markets with an affordable yet high quality model. There is also a lot of high quality furniture, already pre approved by landlords, that can be collected, sorted and then reused from vacant sites and stores to allow demand to meet supply!
 
The run into Christmas will be very exciting this year and Pop Up on Demand is working with retailers and shopping centres to recycle and repurpose unused store furniture, so that other retailers can use it to develop their own businesses quickly and cost effectively. Currently this unused furniture, estimated at over 50,000 tonnes per year, will end up in skips at the back of centres and then, sadly, often in landfill.
 

AFC Member offer:

AFC members receive 10% off our Pop up solution if they book for more than 4 weeks in VIC and NSW
 
 

Connect with Pop up on Demand:
Website
Facebook
Instagram

Applications are open for Recycling Victoria grants to support circular projects and prevent waste | Sustainability Victoria

Sustainability Victoria has recently released round two of the Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund. These grants seek to support circular projects that prevent waste in the make or use phase of a resource's lifecycle.

This means it focuses on upstream innovations in design, production, distribution and consumption instead of downstream interventions like recycling.

Applications are due on Monday 15 November.
 
The projects must:

- Be delivered by a collaborative partnership

- Be innovative (have never been done in Victoria before)

- Explore, test or demonstrate solutions that prevent waste in the make phase or the use phase of a resource lifecycle.

 

The fund will award grants across 2 streams:

Stream 1:
Grants between $75,000 and $150,000 per project
Textiles innovation focuses on circular solutions that prevent textile waste.
 
Stream 2:
Grants between $150,000 and $250,000 per project
Collaborative innovation focuses on circular solutions that prevent waste from multiple organisations in a specific supply chain, sector or region.
An information session around the fund was held recently - watch it here
 

Apply

To apply for the Recycling Victoria Innovation Fund click here

Showroom-X take #WeWearAustralian campaign global

Building on the success of the second annual #WeWearAustralian campaign, Showroom-X has collaborated with renowned international creative director Ken Leung on a fashion campaign aimed at promoting Australian fashion and iconic Western Australia's Kimberley region to the rest of the world with thanks to the WA Government, through Tourism WA.

 

We Wear Australian Campaign
 

Created to unite and bolster the Australian Fashion industry during COVID-19 and, in turn, support vulnerable local communities, #WeWearAustralian was launched in 2020 as a rallying call to all consumers to invest in Australian designers and brands at a time they needed it most. In 2020, the #WeWearAustralian campaign helped drive over $3 million in retail sales amongst participating brands.
 

Showroom-X Creative Director and Co-Founder Kelly Atkinsion said:

 

“Richard and I met Ken after he arrived in Perth with his family for a holiday last year. Lucky for us, Ken decided to extend his stay in WA. Taking the We Wear Australian campaign to the rest of the world seemed like the obvious next step.
 

“There is no hiding the fact that the Australian fashion industry is hurting with many brands and retailers finding themselves with excess stock. Through this extension of the We Wear Australian campaign, we are creating a platform for Australian brands to ship directly to the rest of the world and promote our incredible industry globally through a series of breathtakingly powerful images shot in some of the most otherworldly and wild locations on the planet.
 

“We have been blown away by the generosity of everyone coming together donating their time & energy to bring this campaign to life. It is a true industry collaboration. Particular thanks to the team at Tourism WA.”
 

We Wear Australian Campaign

 

Ken Leung adds:

“Returning to Perth after 20 years of living abroad and working for global fashion brands, I’m excited to use my creativity and experience to support Australian labels through my new agency Studio PARÁDISÔ.
 

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to concept the #WeWearAustralian campaign which captures the freedom and youthful energy of a group of friends as they explore breathtaking West Australian landscapes.
 

“I’ve curated a collective of exciting WA photographers and filmmakers to capture these joyful, uplifting moments in their own way and share the raw beauty of our state with the world.”
 

“The striking contrast of red pindan cliffs, white sand beaches and vivid turquoise waters around Broome, plus abundance of freshwater and ancient geological textures near Kununurra created the perfect backdrops for this campaign”

We Wear Australian campaignWe Wear Australian Campaign

 

The #WeWearAustralian campaign was captured by James Giles, Claire Hart and Justin Griffiths and features local talent including: Naomi Stevens, India Anderson-Prentice, William Kalimba, Angus Minear and from the NT Cindy Rostron.
 

Locations included: Gantheaume Point, Reddell Beach, Cable Beach and Crab Creek on Yawuru Country, Lake Argyle on Miriwoong Country, and Mirima National Park on Miriwoong Country.
 

#WeWearAustralian works with purpose-driven organisation Thread Together who works to restore dignity and hope for every Australian and drive meaningful social, environmental and community change by rescuing clothes destined for landfill and redirecting them to those in need.
 

To participate in #WeWearAustralian and help wardrobe over 10,000 people in need, participating brands were asked to make a tax-deductible financial donation or pledge of product (or both) to Thread Together, so the movement becomes fully circular in its approach.
 

CONNECT

Visit the #WeWearAustralian Website

For more information and media enquiries please contact Gabriella Somervaille at gabriella@somervaille.com.

Join the AFC team | Applications open for Fashion & Textile Industry Relations Manager

Fashion & Textile Industry Relations Manager

Location: Sydney, Australia
Contract: 3-4 days depending on experience
 

AUSTRALIAN FASHION COUNCIL:

The AFC is the peak industry body for the Australian Fashion & Textile industry. As a not-for-profit membership organisation, our members are drawn from across the entire fashion and textile ecosystem. Our unique position is in connecting critical stakeholders across an industry that contributes $27.2 billion to the Australian economy, allowing us to effectively champion an innovative, resilient and sustainable legacy for the industry. With a 77% female workforce, our industry is paramount to creating a secure economic future for women. Through collaboration and leadership, the AFC provides the resources, support and tools to enable our industry to continue to evolve and thrive. We advocate for our industry at the tables that matter.

 

ROLE SUMMARY:

As the Fashion & Textiles Industry Relations Manager,  your primary role will be to grow nationwide membership, connect with industry to curate innovative content strategies for the membership program, and to develop collaborative partnerships that deliver projects that align with the AFCs strategic initiatives, its values and ultimately the goal of a mindful and resilient industry.

Working across emerging brand programs such as Edit Collection, Fash Tech development programs such as AFC Virtual, and other AFC sustainability, circularity, advanced manufacturing and fashion technology initiatives, this role is wide and varied in its engagement with key industry players. There are many major strategic projects on the horizon such as the Australian Fashion Brand project that will require someone with vision, enthusiasm and out of the box thinking to truly optimise the opportunities for industry.

You will be the first point of call for industry members, keeping your finger on the pulse of industry from designers and manufacturers, creative services, media and PR as well as government entities and ancillary business services that contribute to our industry ecosystem.

This full-time role reports directly to the Head of Marketing & Communications, however you will work closely with the CEO to facilitate AFC programs, events and resources that reflect the needs of AFC members. As the AFC is a small organisation, all team members are required to support each other and adapt to working in an agile environment. You will be based between a shared office space in Sydney and working from home.

This is a really exciting role within a growing & dynamic organisation that values the development of its team. The workplace culture at the AFC focuses on collaboration, proactivity and positivity, and the AFC actively encourages a healthy life-work balance by offering flexible working arrangements. Achievements and successes are celebrated within the AFC team, and the right candidate will be rewarded with a nurturing, relaxed yet professional environment that values skill and career development.

 

ROLE RESPONSIBILITIES:

Member Engagement

● Identifying & targeting potential members through direct outreach and 1:1 meetings, to drive new member acquisition and always have your finger on the pulse of industry.

● Working with the Marketing & Communications team to support member acquisition, retention and engagement campaigns that enrich the AFC membership. Be the first point of call for member liaison, exploring member opportunities and resolving issues.

● Manage the Administration Assistant to answer membership enquiries, follow up on leads and problem-solve member concerns and queries.

● Working with the CEO and Head of Marketing & Communications, you will provide a lens on the ‘member journey’ and suggest improvements to the member experience.

 

Partner Engagement

● Building relationships with key partners to develop a collaborative program that delivers a high level of service and positive engagement with the AFC.

● Developing & executing existing partner projects in line with timeline and budget obligations.

● Coordinating partnership proposals, MOU’s, agreements, presentations and project reports.

● Effective and diplomatic communication with partners to maintain relationships - through planning, update meetings and proposing new creative ideas.

● Work with external consultants to drive new partnership strategies, planning and tailored partner proposals.

● Monitoring and researching partnership activity to pinpoint new opportunities.

● Work alongside Marketing & Comms to deliver engaging partner content, resources and events.

 

General

● Prepare weekly feedback reports for the CEO and AFC team. Feedback should be constructive, solution driven and be helpful to the development of the AFC’s member program and partner projects.

● Develop action plans to address key performance areas and improve projects.

● Attending conferences, meetings, and industry events.

● Ad hoc tasks as required.

 

QUALITIES:

Qualifications and Experience

● Tertiary qualifications in fashion, textiles, design, communications or business related field.

● 2- 3 years experience within a not-for-profit or similar peak body organisation, or within the fashion and textiles industry.

 

Knowledge & Skills

● Active interest and sound knowledge of the Australian fashion and textiles industry.

● Highly driven and results focused person with a positive and creative approach and strong work ethic.

● Diligent and conscientious with ability to follow-through on all details, whilst maintaining the bigger picture of the industry.

● Excellent relationship development skills and ability to connect, engage and build strong relationships with our members and stakeholders.

● You thrive in an environment where change is a constant and take ownership of your area of responsibility.

● The ability to influence, communicate and negotiate with stakeholders.

● A team player who is organised and able to effectively prioritise workloads.

● Strategic in approach to long term negotiations and planning.

● Ability to work independently.

● Strong verbal and written communication skills.

● Sound experience using Zoom, GSuite or Office suite.

 

Behaviours & Attributes

● Solutions focused when it comes to solving problems.

● Self motivated and proactive.Strong attention to detail.

● Act with honesty and integrity in everything you do.

● Goal oriented and results driven.

● A friendly and engaging personality.

● Share the AFC’s values and vision.

 

It would be an advantage to have:

● Experience in developing and securing partnerships.

● Strong existing relationships with fashion and textile industry members.

● Experience in developing grant proposals, managing grant requirements and acquittal reporting.

● Project management and client relationship experience.

● Working knowledge of CRM systems and/or project management SaaS software.

 

TO APPLY

To put yourself forward for this fantastic opportunity please submit the following documents:

● Your Cover letter which addresses why you would like to work for the AFC

● Your CV

Send your application to Prue Thomas at pthomas@ausfashioncouncil.com, with the subject line “Application for Fashion & Textiles Industry Relations Manager”.

How Export Finance Australia helps Australian fashion businesses with finance solutions to pivot and grow.

Export Finance Australia provides financing solutions to support Australian fashion brands and businesses, including businesses within an export-related supply chain that benefits the Australian economy.
 

Are you navigating unexpected challenges such as shipment problems, payment difficulties or business interruptions and are unable to secure finance with your private financier? Export Finance Australia may be able to provide financial support.

Through loans, bonds and guarantees, Export Finance Australia has supported Australian exporters for more than 60 years and now more than ever, the team is available to support Australian businesses diversify in a changing world.
 

Helping an Australian Fashion brand finance production with a Small Business Export Loan

After beginning as a wholesale business with an international agency, this Australian Fashion brand changed its business model in 2012 to become a fully Australian vertical retail business. In just over a decade, the company has grown its retail presence locally from one store in Noosa, Queensland to more than 20 stores across Australia, including an online platform.
 

They now have a bricks and mortar store in New Zealand, and an international wholesale business in addition to its multi-site retail presence in Australia.
 

The company’s outstanding reputation meant the brand was also successful in getting high-end international retailers like Nordstrom, Moda Operandi and Harvey Nichols to stock its range. However, to meet these overseas orders, they needed to pay for the production of all its garments upfront – negatively impacting cash flow on their Australian business.
 

This company reached out to Export Finance Australia to help finance its international production invoices.
 

Export Finance Australia provided them with an AUD$350,000 Small Business Export Loan to ensure the cash flow of its Australian business was uninterrupted and they could fulfil their export orders. This enabled them to strengthen relationships with existing buyers and reach new customers in the USA, UK and Asia.
 

Helping businesses diversify

Facing market challenges and disruptions in the past year, many exporters have sought to diversify into new markets. Whether your business is looking to adapt to a changing market, pivot to seize new opportunities or grow internationally, Export Finance Australia’s experienced team is available to support businesses to diversify in a changing world.
 

They could support your business to diversify with:
 

Working Capital Support – To finance against supplier invoices or international purchase orders

Capital investment - To purchase new equipment and expand your export operations

International expansion - To establish or grow your business operations internationally

Online Growth - To invest in e-commerce and grow your sales to international customers

 
 

For more information, get in touch on 1800 093 724 or visit their website.

People focussed recruiting | iDA Australia

Fashion is in a constant state of flux, which can create many challenges for growing retail brands. iDA Australia aims to offer genuine solutions for businesses by providing people-focused services from recruitment, temp staff hire and cross border recruitment as well as pop-up store operations. iDA is a top tier solution provider specialising in the ever-changing retail industry across Asia Pacific countries.
 

iDA has been growing by recruiting and supporting exceptional professionals since 1999. They now have over 10,000 employees and 1,000+ clients in Fashion and Beauty.
 

Internationally supporting Human Resources for fashion brands, iDA Australia expanded to APAC in 2018, including Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.
 

‘WORKING DREAM’ is their commitment to ensure that they are here for people to pursue their dreams and the power that brings joy to people. iDA Australia's goal is to stimulate and enhance the excitement about the future of the fashion industry as well as increase business value in the Australian retail industry.
 

We spoke to the team at iDA Australia about how they are assisting retail businesses to navigate the re-opening of retail in Australia and how businesses should be approaching their recruitment strategy coming into the Christmas retail season.
 

How is iDA Australia working to support retail businesses through the impacts of Covid-19?

Due to the difficulty in finding sales assistants with border closures and restrictions, iDA Australia has developed a flat-rate recruitment service to support retail businesses. The flat-rate recruitment service provides HR services inclusive of job posting, screening, interviewing to checking candidates’ legal resident status. This allows management staff to concentrate on customer experiences and retail operations with the new rules and regulations in place.
 

Working within the industries move towards more digital avenues, they have also reconstructed their online training and education courses that provide staff online modules which are accessible 24/7, with options for lecturer led training sessions where on completion the candidate will receive a course certificate.
 

Once lockdowns and restrictions have eased, how should retail businesses be tackling the recruitment of staff for the coming shopping season?

There will be challenges to meet appropriate staffing numbers towards the holiday season with the usual hiring process unable to be rolled out due to restrictions in place. iDA recommends that businesses deliver clear messaging around prospective candidates to ensure applicants match the requirements needed for the job.
 

With increasing demand and competition of hiring great sales assistants, starting the hiring process early and looking for candidates that can contribute to long-term business success will be key to re-developing your businesses face to face retail.
 

iDA Australia provides their ‘Temp to Hire’ service where businesses can try out new candidates for three to six months before locking in an employment contract. This option takes out the stress and preparation required by employers when hiring new staff whilst also allowing both parties to determine whether the placement is the right fit. iDA will support both sides during the temp period and support areas of concern to ensure both employer and employee are satisfied.
 

AFC Member Offer

- One complementary recruitment offer for the first inquiry through the iDA service web page.

- For all the other inquiries, a 10% discount for the first recruitment until the end of 2021.

 

AFC members can access these offers by logging into the Member Portal and navigating to the
Member Perks page.
 

Connect with iDA Australia

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Last call for Sustainable Fashion 101 | Wardrobe Crisis Academy free for AFC members.

AFC members gain free access to Wardrobe Crisis Academy: Sustainable Fashion 101 until December 2021.

Join the last term of Wardrobe Crisis Academy: Sustainable Fashion 101, beginning November 1st and concluding early December.
Joined by international industry experts, Clare Press takes the role of instructor to teach this six week course with core themes of workers, environment, materials and waste. With lessons published weekly, the study is self-paced, and designed to take approximately 3 hours per week. The course concludes early December.
BONUS LIVE SESSIONS:

There will also be 2 bonus live Zoom sessions facilitated by Clare Press, on 16th & 30th, November 2021.

Over 450 students have been through the Wardrobe Crisis Academy program since it launched in May. This is the perfect opportunity for you and your team members to upskill on the sustainability basics.
“Such an informative course for anyone wanting to learn more about the sustainable fashion business. I highly recommend accessing this not-to-be-missed opportunity to learn direct from Clare Press, surrounded by a community of like-minded people.” - Courtney Holm, founder A.BCH
Run, don't walk - this offer is ahead of the expiration of free AFC member access to the course on the 31st of December 2021. Members must claim this offer by November 1st, 2021.

Claim your limited-edition 100% off discount by emailing info@ausfashioncouncil.com
Connect with Wardrobe Crisis Academy:

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Labelling guide & Standards Toolkit

The AFC’s Labelling Toolkit is your one stop guide for information about care labelling for clothing and textiles. Find out what information you need to include, what is required by law and for exporting, and why it’s important for consumers.
 

Australian standards, labelling law and guidelines assists consumers in the purchasing of fashion & textile products. For Australian fashion & textile products, there are several requirements that need to be observed and maintained. AFC Members have exclusive access to our Standards and Labelling Toolkit where you can find out about what requirements your business needs to follow when labelling your clothing, garments, apparel and textiles.
 

With consumers increasing interest in sustainability, the information brands are expected to provide now extends past the size but where it was made and what it is made of. By law, there are certain parts of information that must be included in order to sell and export garments.
 

This toolkit will cover:

1. Country of origin labelling

2. Fibre content labelling

3. Clothing sizing labelling

4. Environmental labelling

 

AFC Members can access this resource from the Toolkits page here.

Business in Fashion Toolkits | Olvera Advisors

Produced by our Affiliate Partner Olvera Advisors, this Business in Fashion Toolkit supports industry players who are looking to upskill their knowledge on the in’s and out’s of starting, maintaining and operating a healthy fashion business.
 

Launching in phases, this toolkit aims to support and educate AFC members on making informed business decisions, provides guidance on business structure and covers common issues that arise when starting your own business such as director duties, trademarking, finance management and industry benchmarks.
 

These modules are available exclusively for AFC Members and can be accessed via the AFC Toolkits. Read more about the modules available below.
 

Module One:
Starting up a business

Module Two:
Financial Statements

Module Three:
Cash Management

Module Four:
Internal Control
 

Connect with Olvera Advisors

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Creating a safe, respectful and inclusive workplace | Red Wagon

AFC Affiliate partner, Red Wagon Workplace Solutions have created this Workplace Self Assessment Toolkit to help you create a safe and respectful workplace and improve workplace culture.
 

Positive workplace culture ensures that your employees are safe and supported in a workplace that does not tolerate bullying, harassment or discrimination. In 2018, sexual harassment at work, for example, was estimated to cost Australian businesses $3.8 billion through staff turnover and loss of productivity. It is in the best interests of your employees, and the organisation, to impart a positive workplace culture.
 

This toolkit not only highlights whether improvements to a workplace culture need to be made but also maps out workable solutions to create a positive working environment.
 

AFC Members can access the toolkit here.

While it’s suitable for most workplaces, contact Red Wagon for further tailored advice.
 

How can businesses support their employees during times of disruption?

Times of extreme disruption, like we are experiencing through the COVID-19 pandemic, means that employees and employers are experiencing higher than normal stress levels which in turn affects mental health. Poor mental health has negative impacts on a number of aspects of a persons’ life including their productivity and quality of work. It’s important to continue checking in with staff with regular and open communication to monitor employee wellbeing and create strategies to monitor, respond to and support wellbeing.
 

How can businesses support their employees whilst working from home?

Working from home looks different for everybody. Not only ensuring that your staff have adequate resources to carry out their regular tasks, but that there are support systems in place for professional development and mental/emotional support (such as Employee Assistance Programs) will make your staff feel valued.
 

How should businesses navigate going back to a more ‘normal’ working environment?

The work environment, and the way in which we interact with each other, is unlikely to look like it did pre-Covid. In planning a return to the office, business should accommodate reasonable safety and hygiene practices such as making allowances for distancing, more frequent cleaning schedules and sanitising. Understanding that each individual will have different levels of comfort and concern with returning to the office, and being considerate and taking those circumstances into consideration is really important.
 

Member offer

- 10% off specific services such as diagnostic audits and complaints management subscription.

- A complimentary general HR consultation.

 

Connect with Red Wagon
Website | Linkedin

Modern Slavery Checklist | Fioro Legal

The AFC’s High Fashion to High Vis report revealed that the Australian fashion industry contributed over $27.2 billion to the Australian economy. It is therefore unsurprising that the industry is subject to significant regulatory controls, particularly in relation to exports and imports.

One key regulatory area which has gained significant focus in recent years is modern slavery, with changes including the introduction of a new legislative regime and increased reporting obligations. Modern slavery can take many forms, including debt bondage, where a worker is forced to work for free to pay off a debt, child slavery, forced marriage, domestic servitude and forced labour governed by violence and intimidation.
 

Modern slavery affects more than 40.3 million people across the world, with the fashion and textiles industries frequently contributing to the issue, often without their knowledge and/or seemingly beyond their control. Whilst the Australian fashion industry has an increased focus on sustainability, home-grown textiles and workers, and despite customers increasingly seeking out “conscience driven” businesses, many big players in the market are continuing to reap cost benefits from “turning a blind eye” to modern slavery practices abroad. The introduction of the modern slavery regime is intended to bring the issue out of the shadows by requiring certain businesses to identify key areas of risk for modern slavery in their supply chains, with the overriding intention being a shake-up of industry culture and the progressive elimination of modern slavery.
 

The new modern slavery regime imposes extensive obligations on businesses with a consolidated annual turnover of at least $100 million to identify suppliers and areas of risk within their supply chains and to report on the mechanisms they are implementing to mitigate instances of modern slavery in their supply chain. Such businesses are required to prepare and submit modern slavery statements reporting on these issues. However, even if you are not an entity which needs to report, you will likely supply to such an entity and you will be ever-increasingly asked to provide information to them on the issues they need to report on. Further, reporting obligations aside, adopting practices which aim to eliminate modern slavery is a moral obligation on all businesses and simply the right thing to do, with sustainability and social conscience becoming key pillars of many leading brands.
 

Our Modern Slavery Checklist is the first step that you can take in assessing your business’ modern slavery knowledge and maturity. It will help you identify areas of your business in which you are managing modern slavery risks well, and areas which might benefit from improved compliance processes or enhanced focus on sustainability.
 

AFC Members can access The Modern Slavery Checklist here.
 

About Fioro Legal:

Fioro Legal is a boutique law firm in Sydney which advises on a broad range of commercial matters, including regulatory compliance. We have prepared a robust six-step compliance program to assist businesses within the fashion and textiles industry to assess their modern slavery risks and obligations. We assist clients to map their supply chains and conduct risk assessments to allocate risk levels across their supply chain. This assists businesses to identify gaps they may have in their supplier onboarding procedures and to develop procedures to identify risk of modern slavery at the earliest of stages. We also assist businesses to navigate modern slavery provisions which are becoming common in supply agreements, to develop training programs to educate personnel at all levels of the business on modern slavery risks and, finally, to prepare their modern slavery statement (where they meet the relevant revenue threshold).
 

Importantly, where instances of modern slavery are identified within a supply chain, Fioro Legal works with businesses to educate such suppliers. This is because the focus is not on immediately cutting ties with such suppliers (which could result in worse conditions for the impacted workers), but rather to assist them in developing procedures to eliminate modern slavery risks in order to remain part of your supply chain.
 

Fioro Legal also advises businesses who do not meet the $100 million annual turnover threshold. This is because the purpose of the modern slavery regime is to encourage a culture of compliance and increased modern slavery awareness, regardless of whether an entity is subject to specific reporting obligations. Businesses may also find themselves having to provide relevant data and information to entities upstream in their supply chain who are required to report. Having clear processes and procedures in place makes delivering such information smoother, enhancing relations and reputation with upstream suppliers.
 

Member Offer:

We offer a FREE 1-hour business check-up and a subsequent 30-minute follow-up for AFC members to help them better understand the modern slavery regime, how to identify their operations and supply chain and to provide initial guidance on how to improve their regulatory compliance processes. We can also discuss your broader regulatory requirements, whether that be sustainability more generally, privacy, whistleblowing, general corporate governance (such as Board procedures), financial services or other regulation.
 

We also offer a 5% discount on our outsourced legal counsel services, which are intended to provide ongoing legal expertise to your business without the overhead of employing a full-time legal counsel, or 10% off our legal precedent packages, which include template modern slavery clauses for your agreements, template supply agreements and business policies to address modern slavery or other regulatory risks.
 

Connect with Fioro Legal

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