Alix Higgins launches new collection primarily comprised of up-cycled pieces

We were excited to attend the launch of AFC Member Alix Higgins’ latest collection, 'Archery Practice,' which features predominantly upcycled, one-of-a-kind pieces—a core focus for the designer.

Having studied fashion in Sydney and Paris, Higgins launched his eponymous brand in 2021 with a commitment to sustainable practices. Here, we spoke with Alix bout the inspiration behind their latest collection and got a glimpse of what the brand has in store for 2024.

Tell us about the concept behind your recent collection ‘Archery Practice.’ 

The collection is a 10-look lookbook of predominantly upcycled garments made from Polo Shirts, T-Shirts and Rugby Jerseys reimagined with poetry. The concept was to recreate a sort of backyard in a sense, the feeling of youth, of being almost home.

I was thinking about fashion as a destructive process, and how we could minimise our impact through refined practice, turning something violent into something beautiful, like archery. I began the collection thinking about sport, repetition, and beauty. I also wanted to revisit some pieces from my brand and refine them, reissue them in new colours and more luxurious fabrications.

China Heights offered me the space in January to do a pop up so I designed this collection with this space in mind, and with the end goal being a physical launch where people could try on the pieces and engage with them closely. This meant I could lean into upcycling techniques where every garment was unique, because people would shop them in this way, physically.

Alix Higgins Archery Practice Launch

The emphasis on upcycling and the creation of one-of-a-kind pieces in your designs has been evident since you launched your brand in 2021. Can you tell us why sustainability is so important to you?

I don’t think designers really have a choice but to engage with ideas of sustainability. As someone who creates something (especially something as impactful as fashion) I have a responsibility to explore and challenge myself to find new ways to produce that are less harmful, and hopefully even positive.

Upcycling is a wonderful tool for design, wherein you depart from materials that lack the initial 'preciousness' of untouched fabric rolls. Instead, you engage with materials that have already experienced life, imbuing them with character and presence from their prior use.

Winning the Emerging Designer Award at the 2023 Australian Fashion Laureate was a remarkable achievement. Looking ahead to 2024, what exciting developments or projects can we anticipate from your brand?

For 2024 I am working on a second collection to debut in May in a fashion show. Additionally, I will be working on an upcycled capsule collection to be released later in the year with a new partner. I have held a few pop-up stores over the last year and find this is a lovely way to launch new lines, and engage with my customer base directly, and will continue doing this in 2024 as well.

Campaign Photography: Daniel Harden
Casting: Chloe Corkran

Shop Archery Practice here or stay up to date with Alix's journey via Instagram.

Media Release: Australian Fashion Council appoints two new Non-Executive Directors to its Board


Australian Fashion Council appoints two new Non-Executive Directors to its Board

The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) is delighted to announce the appointment of two distinguished Non-Executive Directors to its Board; Mr. Alex Schuman, CEO of Carla Zampatti and Ms. Helen Waldron, Head of Member Relations and NSW Head at the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group).

Ms Marianne Perkovic, Chair AFC said “We are delighted to warmly welcome Mr Schuman and Ms Waldron who each have a wealth of personal experience and a shared commitment to positively progress our industry.

“Mr. Schuman's extensive government relationships and proven track record in business will be invaluable assets as we navigate the dynamic challenges and opportunities within our industry.

“Mr. Schuman brings a rich tapestry of experience as the CEO of Carla Zampatti, a revered name synonymous with elegance and empowerment in the Australian fashion landscape. The late Carla Zampatti was one of the original founders of the AFC, and Mr Schuman’s passionate advocacy for local manufacturing and dedication to continuing his mother's legacy of empowering women in business resonate deeply with the AFC’s vision. 

Ms. Waldron is a prominent leader within the business community, holding the esteemed joint positions as Ai Group’s Head of Member Relations and Head of Ai Group - NSW. With her profound expertise in membership, advocacy, and a nuanced understanding of business dynamics, Ms. Waldron will play a pivotal role in fostering collaboration and driving innovation.

“The AFC’s capability to continue to champion innovation, sustainability and empowerment at a time when the Fashion and Textile industry is being challenged by transformational changes will be strengthened by the exceptional skills, dedication, and fresh perspectives Alex and Helen bring to the board.” 

Ms Waldron said “The AFC’s leadership on important industry and societal issues and its focus on having a thriving, innovative, sustainable fashion industry in Australia, strongly resonate with my values and expertise. I am delighted to be joining the AFC Board at such a pivotal time in the organisation’s growth and look forward to contributing my membership, government and stakeholder relationship experience to the benefit of members.” 

Alex Schuman said “The Australian Fashion Industry isn’t just a big business; it’s become a key part of our national cultural identity and a major cultural export. I’m excited to join the AFC Board and engage in a deeper conversation with cultural, business and government leaders as a means of supporting the industry so it can deliver to its potential with benefits for all.”

The AFC is also in the process of securing two additional Board appointments for 2024 and finalising the appointment of a new CEO, which will be announced in due course.

Don't Miss out on these must-see events at Melbourne Fashion Festival

Melbourne Fashion Fesitval officially kicks off this month and runs until March 5th, featuring over 100 events throughout the city to celebrate Melbourne's vibrant fashion scene. You can anticipate premium runways, pop-up experiences, workshops, industry discussions, and a wealth of creative expressions.

Here, the AFC team has compiled a list of their top must-see events for the week.


Beyond the Seams: Presented by Museums Victoria
Tuesday 5 March, 4:00 pm

This discussion aims to delve into transformative trends and innovative strategies shaping the future of clothing manufacturing in Victoria, where the local fashion and textiles industry is poised for a transition to a circular clothing economy.

Panelists: Marianne Perkovic (Chair of the AFC Board, Craig Heckenberg (Managing Director, Epson Australia) and Dr. Jenny Underwood (Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, RMIT).

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Conversations across Culture: Presented by Museums Victoria
Tuesday 5 March, 2:30 pm

This panel discussion will delve into the ethical considerations, opportunities, and challenges surrounding the appropriation of diverse cultures from an alternative perspective. 

Panelists: Maggie Zhou (writer and Culture Club podcast co-host), Paul McCann (First Nations designer), Bonnie Mooney (Creative Projects Manager at Social Studio), Shegofa Nasari (Women's Community Advisory Group representative) and Winitha Bonney (Inclusion Thought Leader).

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The Next Retail Revolution Presented by Collarts
Wednesday 28 February, 6:00 pm

Collarts will present a live panel discussion exploring the future of fashion retailing and marketing, that emphasises sustainability through the integration of advanced technologies. This event aims to bring together tech innovators, educators and fashion enthusiasts to engage in a conversation on the future of the fashion retail landscape.

Panelists: Debbie Pratt (Educator, Collarts), Pete Smit (CEO, Style Atlas), Anthony Kwok (CEO, Zilio- Virtual Fitting Rooms) and Sharnie Raine (CLO, 3D Consultant).

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The Future of Fashion Using the Power of the Consumer
Thursday 29 February, 4:30 pm

RCYCL will present a live panel discussion exploring the hierarchy of fashion purchasing. This event seeks to raise awareness and foster responsibility by addressing each tier of the fashion industry. The conversation will focus on how consumers can contribute to shaping a more sustainable environment in our shopping habits, clothing choices, and personal presentation.

Panelists include representatives from the Seamless Clothing Stewardship Scheme, eBay Australia, and The Salvos Stores.

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Community Threads: Afghan Hand Embroidery Workshop Presented by The Social Studio
Saturday 24 February, 2:00 pm

Immerse yourself in an afternoon at The Social Studio, where a skilled artisan from Melbourne's Afghan community will guide you in acquiring traditional Afghan hand embroidery skills. Explore a display of crafted Hazara and Pashtun embroidery, showcasing intricate and beautiful examples of this traditional art form.

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Redesigning Waste: Pocket Politics Presented by RMIT
Saturday 2 March - Sunday 3 March, 3:00 pm

Be guided through the process of creating your own Future Archive attachable pocket bag from a fresh selection of the finest textile trash. Learn introductory sewing machine skills to take home and make your own wardrobe interventions. Each participant will take home their completed pocket, a Future Archive attachable pocket pattern to make further pockets, and sewing skills to continue making. 

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The Ethical Fashion Experience Presented by Ethical Clothing Australia
Saturday 2 March, 9:30 am

Explore the forward-thinking ethics of fashion through an immersive experience where insider insights are revealed. Embark on an exclusive journey behind the scenes of pioneering businesses like AFC Members RB Patterns and the Social Studio, tracing the lifecycle of garments to spotlight their ethical practices. Position yourself as a pivotal figure in advancing the dialogue on ethics in the industry.

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Triumphant x PayPal Opening Runway
Monday 4 March, 6:45 pm & 8:30 pm

Get ready for a memorable opening night to kickstart the Festival's Premium Runway series with the Triumphant x PayPal runway. Set against the backdrop of Melbourne's iconic Royal Exhibition Building, this showcase will spotlight collections from Australia's most beloved and internationally acclaimed brands. Among them are AFC Members Bianca Spender, Ngali, and Viktoria & Woods.

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Emerging Mob in Fashion Runway
Thursday 7 March, 7:00 pm

Embark on a journey of visual storytelling and creative expression through bold designs, vibrant colors, and artistic practice. The Mob in Fashion Pathways Program proudly nurtures Indigenous talent within the fashion industry, forging pathways for promising careers in the world of fashion. 

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Melbourne Fashion Festival runs from 24 February - 5 March. To view the full program click here

5 Sustainable Fashion Films to Inspire Ethical Choices

To lessen our environmental footprint, especially in our wardrobes where much of our consumption occurs, it's crucial to understand the environmental implications and celebrate emerging solutions.

How can we start? Documentaries, short films and series can be helpful resources for insights into innovative solutions, steps toward change, and individual journeys toward sustainability within the fashion industry.

This holiday season, explore our favourite films and series:

Fashion Redressed

Curious about the future of fashion? Uncover the answers in ‘Fashion Redressed,’ the latest global fashion film series presented by Global Fashion Agenda and BBC Storyworks. 'Fashion Redressed' aims to raise awareness of the ideas designing for the future of fashion, featuring a collection of stories from across the globe of tailor-made solutions to fit us and our planet.

The series highlights AFC Member ELK in the episode 'A Journey of Discovery,' focusing on radical transparency to address environmental challenges through scientific solutions. Additionally, it features episodes that showcase eBay, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and many other changemakers contributing to the future of fashion.

Watch Now

The Way We Wore

This three-part series offers a dynamic exploration of Australian fashion, delving into its cultural and historical significance. Each episode showcases insights from leading industry experts including Glynis Traill-Nash, Lucianne Tonti, Elaine George, Jenny Kee and many more. Embark on the journey with Celeste Barber as she explores the evolution of the Australian fashion industry.

Join her in celebrating prominent change-makers including AFC Members Zimmermann, Jordan Gogos, Bianca Spender and CUE.

Watch Now

The War on Waste

ABC's The War on Waste delves deep into Australia's waste crisis, uncovering everyday solutions to empower viewers in reducing waste. The three-episode series sheds light on plastic, food, and clothing waste, culminating in a startling revelation in the final episode: approximately two-thirds of our clothing is made from synthetic materials.

Watch Now

Fashion Reimagined

'Fashion Reimagined' shares the journey of fashion designer Amy Powney from Mother of Pearl, as she embarks on a mission to create a truly sustainable collection from field to finished garment.

When she wins the coveted Vogue award for the Best Young Designer of the Year, which comes with a big cash prize, Amy decides to use the money to create a sustainable collection from field to finished garment and transform her entire business. Over the following three years, her revolution becomes the precursor of a much bigger, societal change.

Learn More

The True Cost

The True Cost unveils alarming truths about the fashion industry, prompting us to question: who truly bears the cost of our clothing? This documentary explores a spectrum of issues, ranging from the environmental impact and labor rights abuses in recently industrialised nations to the link between genetically modified cotton and cancer incidence.

It illustrates the detrimental effects of the Western world's pursuit of inexpensive, disposable fashion, revealing how this demand is not only eroding lives but also wreaking havoc on the planet.

Watch Now

AFC Highlights from 2023: Guiding the Just Transformation of our Industry

As we approach the conclusion of yet another year, we're taking the time to pause and celebrate the milestones achieved for our industry, all made possible through the unwavering support of our dedicated AFC Members, Patrons, and Partners. Together, we're driving a transformative journey toward a socially, environmentally, and economically prosperous circular economy by 2030, aiming for Net Zero by 2050. 

Thank you to our AFC Members for being integral to this journey — Join us in reflecting on some of our favourite milestones that defined 2023:

Launched Seamless Design & Roadmap, Australia’s National Clothing Stewardship Scheme: The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister of Environment and Water, launched the design and roadmap for Seamless - a plan to revolutionise how clothing is made, used, and recirculated in Australia, striving for clothing circularity by 2030.

Launched ‘Advancing a Creative Industries Precinct for Sydney’ Report: Collaborating with the University of Technology Sydney, Minister John Graham, the Powerhouse Museum, and TAFE NSW, the AFC launched a report into the potential of Tech Central's anchor institutions in fostering a dynamic innovation ecosystem. 

Continued Support for First Nations People and Reconciliation: The AFC collaborated with industry leaders, brands and changemakers to launch #FashionForYes, uniting individuals who are committed to acknowledging First Nations' perspectives.

Joined the CSIRO Chief Scientist Expert Advisory Group:  An opportunity to represent our industry and offer impartial, external guidance to CSIRO regarding the national challenges and opportunities within our sector.

Second Pilot for FashTech Lab: Supported by City of Sydney, AFC partnered with leading Australian fashion brands and tech partners for FashTech Lab's second pilot, achieving notable milestones:

National Reconstruction Fund Industry Working Group Seat: Secured a seat in the ‘National Reconstruction Fund Industry Working Group’ to enhance local manufacturing capabilities in the fashion and textiles industry, aligned with government priorities.

Participation in the 'Inquiry into Perceptions and Status of VET': Committed to skill-building and creating career pathways, we contributed to the inquiry, fostering growth within our industry.

Melanie Levis' Nomination for 'ITAB Board of Management': AFC member Melanie Levis of Cue accepted a nomination to represent AFC at Manufacturing Skills Australia's 'ITAB Board of Management,' contributing to the development of local manufacturing capabilities in NSW.

Engagement in Notable Speaking Opportunities: The AFC had the privilege of sharing insights at notable events including the Ethical Consumer Report Webinar hosted by Baptist World Aid and Be Slavery Free, the Circular Economy Show presented by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Sustainable Fashion Roundtable at NSW Parliament House convened by the Hon. Dr. Sarah Kaine MLC, as well as Ragtrader Live, Global Sourcing Expo, International Apparel Federation’s (IAF) World Fashion Convention in Philadelphia, Circularity Live and more.

Not yet a member? Join us to unlock exclusive resources and events, connect with our professional network, and contribute to the future of a sustainable and innovative industry. The AFC is proud to contribute 5% of membership fees to the Indigenous Fashion Fund, launching in 2024.

Seamless announces inaugural CEO and Board of Directors

The AFC is proud to support Seamless as it enters its next phase, welcoming the announcement of its new CEO and Board of Directors. We look forward to continuing our support for the new organisation, as well as current and future members, in 2024.

Seamless appoints new CEO, Ainsley Simpson

The recently formed Seamless Board, today announced the appointment of its inaugural CEO Ainsley Simpson, effective from 4 March 2024. Seamless is about creating a sustainable fashion future for the Australian clothing industry by transforming how clothing is made, used, reused and recycled in Australia.

In speaking about the CEO appointment Seamless Board Independent Chair, Rosanna Iacono, said.

‘As a respected, inclusive and values-driven business leader, Ainsley is an outstanding choice to champion our ambitious vision. She brings a wealth of strategic leadership experience and proven ability to drive sustainability best-practice, building strategic partnerships spanning government, business and industry peak bodies for intergenerational impact’.

Deeply familiar with driving sectoral change, Ms Simpson is currently the CEO of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council, a purpose-led not-for-profit, assuring economic, social and environmental outcomes for over $290 billion infrastructure investment across Australia and New Zealand. She has amplified the organisation's impact, serving a member base with a combined annual turnover of more than $50 billion.

Ms Simpson has worked in executive roles in public and private sector organisations, and holds non-executive roles on other not-for-profit boards and global committees which systematise continuous improvement and inform policy leadership so people, nature and nations thrive.

“This appointment marks the start of an exciting new chapter, and the board looks forward to working with Ainsley to drive responsible change toward effective clothing stewardship and circularity by 2030’, said Ms Iacono.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Simpson stated “It is a privilege to be leading this important work on behalf of the founding and future members who are at the forefront of circularity in Australia; and contributing to transforming the way clothing is made, enjoyed and recirculated on a global scale’.

“My immediate priorities will be meeting our existing and imminent members and activating initial outcomes across our four strategic objectives; circular design, circular business models, closing the loop and citizen behaviour change.

The appointment represents a major milestone toward activating clothing stewardship in Australia.

Seamless Board of Directors

The Seamless Board is made up of a representative from the Australian Fashion Council and nominated representatives from each of the eight Seamless Foundation Members :

The Board is also currently recruiting two independent directors that will bring relevant specialist knowledge and skills across the clothing supply chain from clothing design, reuse and recycling and an independent director acting as Guardian of Nature, that will bring relevant specialist knowledge and skills in relation to the natural world and the non-human species that inhabit it and/or social impact.

Brands are encouraged to register their interest to remain up to date with Seamless.

DECJUBA is on a journey towards a more responsible future

Welcome to the AFC Expert Series, designed to offer insights from our AFC Patron Members. Immerse yourself in the dynamic world of fashion, textiles, sustainability and technology, as we bring you perspectives and expertise from industry leaders across the clothing value chain.

Embarking on a journey towards a more responsible future, DECJUBA introduces 'DECJUBA Future' an initiative that evaluates materials based on sustainability factors such as compliance, circularity, and supply chain transparency, intending to help their customers make more considered purchases. 

We had the privilege of interviewing Kate Carroll, DECJUBA's Head of Sustainability, to delve into the launch of this initiative, the challenges encountered, and the responses from consumers.

With an environmental science background and having recently completed her MBA, Kate brings a wealth of knowledge cultivated over 15 years in environmental management and sustainability across diverse industries. She reflects on the evolving focus in the industry, transitioning from merely 'doing less harm' to the imperative of 'doing more good'.

1. Can you tell us a bit about ‘DECJUBA Future’ and what inspired the team to launch the initiative, was customer demand a driving factor?

DECJUBA Future is a responsible sourcing initiative driven by our Founder, Tania Austin, and fueled by our commitment to becoming a more responsible fashion brand. It responds to the growing demand from customers for both transparency and sustainability in fashion, including feedback from our customers.

The majority of those surveyed supported responsibly sourced products and sustainable practices.

We're focused on using fibres with a lower environmental impact, with our DECJUBA Future-approved products ensuring at least 80% are green-tier fibres. Our journey involves transparently sharing this information on our website. As we work toward our 2027 targets, it's a collaborative effort across our business to deliver both amazing products and a positive impact.

2. Why is transparency and education important to drive as the Head of Sustainability at DECJUBA? What are some initiatives you have implemented/currently exist to drive this?

Transparency and education hold pivotal roles in our mission and values for several compelling reasons.

Firstly, they serve as vital enablers within the industry, driving improvements in both social and environmental performance. Equally important to this, is the role of transparency in building trust with our customers. By openly communicating that we are on a sustainability journey, we aim to establish an understanding that sustainable growth demands both time and commitment.

We are eager for our customers to join us on this journey, by raising their awareness to help them buy better. 

Connecting our internal team to our sustainability journey and fostering better decision-making and accountability is crucial. We achieve this by engaging our teams in sustainability strategy targets through internal sessions and team meetings focused on their specific work areas. Regular meetings with key stakeholders are also scheduled to track performance and discuss improvement opportunities. Our sustainability scorecard, updated quarterly, provides a transparent overview to the leadership team.

The sustainability targets we are working towards include a new 5 green star head office building, 100% renewable energy, 100% reusable, compostable or recyclable packaging, and a circularity program or partnership focusing on sustainable innovation and impactful new models that keep valuable resources in use for longer.

3. What challenges have you encountered in transitioning to green-tiered fibres?

Transitioning to green-tiered fibres has been a complex process of researching responsible fibres over 18 months and developing our framework before launching it to our customers. The process has presented several challenges for our team to overcome, including:

4. How do you view the importance of empowering customers to make eco-conscious choices? 

Empowering our Decjuba customers to make better choices is extremely important to us. We recognise that consumers play a pivotal role in driving positive environmental impact through their purchasing decisions. By providing information, transparency, and sustainable options, we aim to enable our customers to make choices that align directly with their values. 

We feel this not only contributes to a more sustainable industry but also fosters a collective sense of responsibility toward the environment. Consumers are committed to doing the right thing and making better choices in the sustainability space. Our responsibility is to provide those options and choices in a way that is convenient for them.

5. Have you noticed a substantial rise in expenses associated with the implementation of environmentally friendly fibres, and what strategies does your business have in place to address the possibility of increased material costs?

We approach the implementation of environmentally friendly fibres with a balanced perspective, considering factors like margin, region, and sustainability. While we absorb sustainability price premiums where possible, and of course, this can present challenges. 

Fortunately, recycled fibres such as recycled polyester or nylon have proven to be cost-competitive. Additionally, we’re actively exploring efficiency improvements in other aspects of our operations, such as ordering and stock management, to potentially offset any increased material costs.

It’s a strategic and adaptive approach to our business practices with sustainability goals. 

6. Tell us about your participation in the Textile Exchange recycled polyester challenge and your goals for the challenge.

Our four-year membership with Textile Exchange has been invaluable, reinforcing our commitment to sustainability. Our participation in the Textile Exchange material challenge is a significant step, pledging to source 80% or more of the total polyester in our products from recycled polyester by 2025. 

This commitment aligns with our dedication to circularity and responsibly sourced green-tier fibres through our DECJUBA Future initiative. It's a tangible demonstration of our ongoing efforts to drive positive environmental impact within the textile industry.

7. What recommendations can you offer to fellow brands that are considering a switch to green-tiered fibres?

For brands contemplating a switch to green-tiered fibres, we would recommend:

Explore the DECJUBA Future initiative and follow their progress by clicking here.

With special thanks to Kate Carroll and the team at DECJUBA.

Our continued support for First Nations people and reconciliation

After campaigning for “Yes” the AFC respected the call from First Nations leaders for silence. Now, we wish to express our continuing support for First Nations people and reconciliation.

Our campaign work highlighted the many brands and businesses who were active in showing their support for Yes. More broadly, it has underlined the AFC’s ongoing commitment to being part of a society that recognises First Nations’ perspectives.

Diversity, inclusion, listening and moving forward together is not a box to tick. It is a way of being and working that makes our community richer and stronger.

We are so grateful for the guidance and leadership of our board member Yatu Widders Hunt who is a champion of First Nations fashion and a proud Dunghutti/Anaiwan woman. 

We would also like to recognise Rachel Perkins, Elle Roseby and Laura Thompson, and thank them for participating in the AFC Talks, Voice to Parliament webinar. You inspired us with your courage and your motivating call to action: 

Be Active, Bring Yourself to This, Be Brave.

Thank you also to Kin Fashion’s Peter Naughton for driving this project and Eloise Bishop for making it happen.

And to Claire Ainsworth from Groundswell Giving, Courtney Miller from Next Generation and Marie-Claude Mallat from MCMPR for your generosity in orchestrating the photo shoot and press rollout that received such great support from the teams at Vogue, InStyle, Russh, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire. 

We would like to acknowledge the industry leaders and brands who joined #FashionForYes: Country Road, Clothing the Gaps, Citizen Wolf, bassike, Alix Higgins, Spell, Ngali, Kloke, Bianca Spender, Genevieve Smart (Ginger & Smart), Anna Plunkett (Romance Was Born), Sarah Munro (Sarah & Sebastian), Emma Mullholland (Emma on Holiday), Mikey Nolan (Double Rainbouu), Jordan Askill, Hamish Tame (Le Specs), Akira Isogowa and industry figures including Glynis Traill-Nash, Kellie Hush, Paloma Garcia, Natalie Xenita, Jordan Turner, Bella Thomas and last but definitely not least, a special thanks to Clare Press for her relentless advocacy for this cause.

Indigenous Fashion Fund

Looking ahead, in 2024 we are focussed on maximising the opportunity we have through the activation of the AFC’s Indigenous Fashion Fund.

The fund will be used to undertake a listening exercise to better understand the key priorities for the First Nations fashion sector and to discuss how to establish governance structures that embed First Nations advice, engagement and advocacy through the AFC and broader industry. The model and approach will be developed in partnership with First Nations fashion peak bodies and leaders, with the first meeting to be held in the early part of 2024.

There is so much to do, but at the AFC, we remain determined and optimistic that together, we can ‘Be Active, Bring Ourselves to This, Be Brave’ and continue to support First Nations people on the journey towards reconciliation.

The AFC is proud to contribute 5% of membership fees to the Indigenous Fashion Fund, Join Us now.

Progress Update: Seamless Completes Phase One, Achieving Key Milestones.

The National Clothing Stewardship Scheme, Seamless, is a first of its kind and aims to transform how clothing is made, used and recirculated in Australia to achieve clothing circularity by 2030. 

On October 28, 2023, the Seamless Transition Advisory Group (TAG) concluded its fourth and final meeting, passing the baton to the new independent not-for-profit stewardship organisation under the oversight of the Board of Directors.

Since its establishment in June 2023, TAG members have demonstrated remarkable dedication to establishing a new entity in line with the transition plan's first stage. 

“The core goal of Seamless is creating a circular clothing industry by 2030, where responsible stewardship and citizenship are embedded across the entire clothing lifecycle.” – AFC CEO, Leila Naja Hibri said. 

Key achievements of the Seamless TAG to date:

“Change starts with all of us, and industry collaboration is a huge part of making the greatest impact,” said Michelle Pacey, General Manager for Product. “Cotton On’s partnership with Seamless is an important step in the right direction as we work together with other brands to find industry-wide sustainable solutions.” 

The TAG is made up of Foundation Members of Seamless along with a range of clothing supply chain specialists including NSW Environment Protection Authority, Charitable Recycling Australia, and Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association. 

The clothing industry was further represented by A.BCH, Bassike, Future Fashion Agency, and the Australian Fashion Council. 

“The diverse thinking and thoughtful contributions of all TAG members have resulted in the development of a Constitution and the appointment of an Executive and Governance Board where joined-up thinking and action will underpin the delivery of ambitious industry transformation and optimal outcomes for all key stakeholders” – said Rosanna Iacono, Independent Chair of the Seamless TAG

In November, the newly formed Seamless Board will initiate the selection of an independent Chair, Directors, and the CEO.

Brands are encouraged to register their interest to remain up to date with Seamless.

Meet the 2023 Melbourne Fashion Week Student Award winner, Rubee Hay

Taking place at Melbourne's iconic Waterfall Lane, the Student Collections Runway at Melbourne Fashion Week athered Melbourne’s notable up-and-coming designers from the state’s top fashion schools, including Box Hill InstituteHolmesglen InstituteKangan InstituteRMIT School of Fashion and Textiles and Whitehouse Institute of Design Australia

The AFC had the privilege of attending the presentation, and our Project Director, Danielle Kent, participated in the judging panel, selecting the top five finalists and ultimately resulting in two winners, which is a first for this award.

Congratulations to Alexandra Groves and Rubee Hay, students from RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles.

Here, we spoke with one of the two 2023 winners, Rubee Hay about the concept behind her collection ‘Broken body, silly little girl’ and where the future of fashion is heading. 

Q1: Tell us about the concept behind your collection ‘Broken body, silly little girl’. 

‘Broken body, silly little girl’ is an introspection on notions of vulnerability and protection, and their necessary coexistence. It ponders a duality; an ‘I’ and a ‘Me’. ‘I’  am protecting ‘me’. A little girl, broken and cold, dresses herself and protects herself;  shields herself from the wind and from the world, aware of her own fragility.  

Drawing from depictions of isolated women in art and literature, namely ‘The  Apprenticeship or The Book of Pleasures’ by Clarice Lispector, the collection balances a melancholy and hopefulness; a sensitivity within a harsh, hard world.  

Central to the work is the notion of the self-portrait and theories of symbolic interactionism, placing importance on how narrative and communication can influence the way we touch, wear, and care for our garments.  

Q2: How do your garments align with this concept? 

The garments in the collection focus on tailoring and draping, creating a delicate balance between being slightly too small and a touch too big. They acknowledge and serve the wearer, emphasizing the relationship between body, garment, and self. This exploration delves into how garments communicate through their interaction with the body, influence posture, and allow for body exposure, concealment, and manipulation. By emphasizing craftsmanship, technique, and a sentimental commitment to quality, longevity, and slow fashion, the collection nurtures an enduring narrative between the wearer and the garments

Q3: Were there particular materials or techniques used in your collection to symbolise vulnerability and  protection?

It was important to me to steer away from traditional ideas of ‘protection’, which I  think can focus on harshness and hardness. What I am trying to show is more the feeling of being protected, warmth, comfort, and safety. Because of this, I  focused a lot on wool and silk fabrications, there’s a fluidity and softness to natural protein fibers which means they interact with the body in a really special way. 

My practice has a very strong emphasis on construction, with a particular focus on tailoring and draping, which I think was imperative to communicating the body through my garments and acknowledging and honouring the wearer. In terms of technique, I was very conscious of not wanting to add to the fabrics,  only take away. The pulled thread work on the kilt and the hand-cut pinstripe on the pencil skirt, the underneath is where the concept gets translated so I wanted to show that. 

Q4: As a student entering the industry, how important is sustainability within your design process? 

It's hard as a new designer to feel justified in making, but I think thoughtfulness and intention are what’s important. I always want to make with intention, making sure every possible detail of a garment is considered acknowledged, and treated with importance. My practice approaches sustainability through the lens of symbolic interactionism, placing importance on the intangible attributes and personal significance that garments can hold. Narrative and communication are vital elements of my practice,  as I believe the way that we speak about our garments can influence the way we touch, wear, and care for them.  

Sustainability to me is more of a mindset; it's about consuming and creating with a deeper consideration. We live in a culture of rapid, mindless consumption, so I think the key is to challenge that. By approaching design and fashion with an introspective and analytical mindset, we can promote thoughtful consumption and positively influence the longevity of our garments within our wardrobes. 

Within a fast fashion consumerist culture; to nurture the cloth that dresses us, protects us, and creates us, is a fundamental act of resistance.  

Photographer : Ella Maximillion (they/them)
Talent: Jackie Zhou (they/he)

Connect with Rubee

With special thanks to Melbourne Fashion Week.

Meet the 2023 Melbourne Fashion Week Student Award winner, Alexandra Groves

The Student Collections Runway at Melbourne Fashion Week brought together some of Melbourne's most promising up-and-coming designers from the state's leading fashion schools, which include Box Hill Institute, Holmesglen Institute, Kangan Institute, RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles and Whitehouse Institute of Design Australia

The AFC had the privilege of attending the presentation, and our Project Director, Danielle Kent, participated in the judging panel, selecting the top five finalists and ultimately resulting in two winners, which is a first for this award. 

Congratulations to Alexandra Groves and Rubee Hay, students from RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles.

Here, we spoke with one of the two 2023 winners, Alexandra Groves, whose focus on fashioned knitwear and sustainable hand processes highlights the innovative contributions of young designers to the industry's future.

Q1:  Tell us about the concept behind your collection and how you came to use knitwear.

The motivation behind this collection stemmed from a desire to create future heirlooms. My intention was to create garments that people could cherish and that would withstand the test of time. Building on this idea I found inspiration in the couture designs of the 1950s and 1960s, in particular the work of Cristobal Balenciaga. 

What excited me about these designs was their ability to encapsulate a specific era while remaining contemporary to this day. I found it an interesting challenge to capture these elegant and timeless qualities through the lens of knitwear. I am really interested in working in this space, finding the balance between refinement and rawness in the context of knitwear. 

My background is in textile design so I actually came to fashion through knitwear. I love working with knitwear as it allows me to simultaneously create the textile and the garment. This allows me to really experiment with material exploration and development which is the focus of my work.

Q2: Could you explain the sustainable hand processes used in this collection?

My collection is made using fully fashioned knitwear. Working with this method, each piece of the garment is knit to shape meaning that there is very little waste created. For this collection I have used a lot of hand processes, working with materials and techniques which can not be reproduced by machine.

The intention behind this was to create unique, one-off pieces which can never be perfectly replicated. The inherent mistakes and irregularities that come with hand-making are embraced. I believe these imperfections add character and value and have the potential to resonate more deeply with the wearer and foster a sense of satisfaction. This approach aligns with my interest in emotionally durable design which provides a pathway towards more sustainable and meaningful relationships with fashion and material possessions, fostering a shift away from a culture of disposability and excessive consumption.

Q3: How does your collection reflect the intimate and embodied experience of wearing clothing? Can you describe any design elements that achieve this?

For this collection, I was really interested in the tactility of clothing and how this affects our experience of it. I view wearing clothing as a very personal and intimate interaction, as it is worn so close to our body.

During the textile development for these pieces, my focus was on crafting garments that not only had a luxurious appearance but also offered a luxurious feel when worn. For me, comfort plays a significant role in my choice of clothing and dress. This is one of the reasons why I have a strong inclination toward knitwear. In creating these pieces, my aim was to combine the comfort associated with knitwear with the luxury and elegance of evening wear.

This is what led me to the beaded design elements in my designs. The beads give pieces a really nice weight and drape while the knit allows it to conform to the shape of the body without restricting any movement.

Photographer : Mira Pedlar
Hair and Make Up: Kate McWilliam
Talent: Rosie Graham

Connect with Alexandra

With special thanks to Melbourne Fashion Week.

Discover the Melbourne Fashion Week Conversation Series

We are excited to support three inspiring Conversations for this year's Melbourne Fashion Week. Presented by Creative Victoria, this year's Conversations moderated by Janice Breen Burns will explore the potential of circular fashion design in Melbourne, new-age fashion tech careers and the era of transparency and connection in the fashion supply chain.

AFC Project Director, Danielle Kent will be joining Conversation One: Circular Fashion in Melbourne to talk about Seamless, Australia’s first Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme, creating a roadmap to circlarity by 2030.

MFW Conversation Series will take place on Wednesday, October 25th at Wesley Place.

9:00am - 9:45am

Motivated by the environmental impact of fashion, many in the industry are embracing the idea of circular design. Examining whether our city can make the change, this panel will compare circular economy principles to Melbourne’s fashion industry in relation to the wider global practice.

Panelists: Dr. Vaibhav Gaikwad (Head of Sustainability and Ethics, ELK), Danielle Kent (Project Director, Australian Fashion Council) and Lauren Hart McKinnon (Studio Manager, Future From Waste Lab)

Buy Tickets.

10:15am - 11:00am

Get ready to expand your horizons beyond conventional career paths in fashion – think workshops and runways. Pioneers of virtual reality, gaming, and technology will share how they’re carving new niches in the industry.

Panelists: Estelle Michaelides (Micky In The Van and Saint Stella M), Dan Tse (INJURY) and Darren Vukasinovic (Artist)

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11:30am - 12:15pm

Technology is ushering in a new era of transparency and connection in the fashion supply chain. Hear from local designers who are leveraging the emerging possibilities of the digital revolution, from authenticity tracking and tracing fiber origins to forging direct links between brands and consumers.

Panelists: Marcus Crook (HoMieREBORN), Saskia Fairfull (Founder, Metarial),
Rebekah McQuoid (Development Manager, FibreTrace) and Mark Scott (Program Manager, Woolmark)

Buy Tickets


Save 20% by purchasing the MFW Conversations Bundle and gain access to all three discussions. View the full Melbourne Fashion Week program here.

Australian Fashion Council announces CEO Leila Naja Hibri will depart in 2024

The Australian Fashion Council announced today that after almost four years as CEO Leila Naja Hibri has decided to hand over the role in early 2024, once a new chief is found.

Leila will continue to play an advisory role as the AFC’s nominated Director on the board of Seamless, Australia’s new national clothing product stewardship scheme.

Making the announcement, AFC Chair Marianne Perkovic said: “Leila is no ordinary CEO. She places people at the heart of all she does and is passionate about driving positive industry change, responsible growth and social and environmental justice.

“Over the past four years Leila has brought the Australian fashion industry together, increasing recognition of our $27.2bn contribution to the Australian economy, including $7.2bn in export revenue.

“With technology and innovation, diversity and inclusion always at the forefront, She has also led the development of an ambitious vision based on foundational strategic pillars:

“This has created an incredible opportunity, and a secure and positive environment for our next CEO to champion the Australian fashion and textile industry. On behalf of the board and our team I sincerely thank Leila for her inspiring leadership,” Marianne continued.

Leila said: “With a well-defined vision and strategic direction in place, it feels like the right time to hand responsibility for the AFC’s next phase on to a new CEO.

“I am immensely proud of the AFC for guiding the beginning of our industry’s just transformation.

“Together we have navigated the challenges of the COVID era and commanded government attention by delivering groundbreaking reports that unveiled our industry’s true economic value and potential.

“We also established the progressive Australian Fashion Trademark, the pivotal Seamless clothing product stewardship scheme, and initiated the AFC Fashtech Lab as well as an Indigenous Fashion Fund.

“My most sincere thanks go to the incomparable AFC team, our Chair and Board and of course our loyal members, invaluable Patrons and industry partners. I also thank all the organisations and agencies, industry leaders and individuals who continue to support the AFC and our work. 

“I am confident that the AFC, through collaboration, creativity and courage, will continue guiding this great industry as it transitions to a world-class thriving circular economy by 2030”, Leila added.

Progress Update: Seamless breaks new ground appointing new independent Director

The National Clothing Stewardship Scheme, Seamless, aims to transform how clothing is made, used and recirculated in Australia to achieve clothing circularity by 2030.

On 28 September 2023, the Seamless Transition Advisory Group (TAG) had its third meeting with a clear objective to progress the establishment of the Product Stewardship Organisation (PSO) through the development of a new Constitution and Board of Directors. 

Foundation members of Seamless; Big W, David Jones, Lorna Jane, Rip Curl, RM Williams and THE ICONIC, along with a range of clothing supply chain specialists including NSW Environment Protection Authority, Charitable Recycling Australia and Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association attended the meeting.

The clothing industry was further represented by A.BCH and the Australian Fashion Council.

The latest Foundation member, Sussan Group, joined the meeting for the first time. 

“The Sussan Group is looking forward to helping shape the conversation and recommendations for the proposed scheme. We are excited to be working alongside our Seamless partners on potential solutions to solve the issue of textile waste” said Rebecca Hard, Sussan Group CEO. 

The newly created Constitution establishes a robust framework with clear objectives related to clothing circularity and outlines the role of supply chain stakeholders in the governance of the organisation.

Notably, the new Seamless PSO is breaking new ground in Australia by appointing an independent director responsible for serving as a Guardian of Nature. This dedicated role is focused on representing the interests of nature, all species, and the environment as a whole.

“I commend the Transition Advisory Group for embracing a progressive approach in the establishment of the constitution, ensuring that the organisation will be genuinely focused on positive outcomes for planet, people and economy and inclusive in the breadth of stakeholders whose voices will be heard in the delivery of strategy,” said Rosanna Iacono, Independent Chair of the Seamless TAG.  

The TAG’s next meeting is scheduled for 26th October 2023 to finalise its role in the establishment process and to handover to the newly established PSO and its Board.

Register your interest.

eBay announces $200K fund to support circular fashion businesses

The Australian Fashion Council is proud to support eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund, offering $200,000 AUD in funding for Australian start-ups specialising in circular fashion solutions. 

For decades, eBay has been leading the charge in recommerce, driving the circular economy through its resale marketplace, in particular for fashion. eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund not only compliments but helps accelerate the roadmap for Seamless, the national clothing stewardship scheme, bringing us closer to our goal of achieving clothing circularity in Australia by 2030.

With every Australian buying 27 kilograms of new clothing a year and throwing away 23 kilograms on average each year, the Fund aims to bring together emerging technologies and forward-thinking solutions from innovative start-ups that can help change customer behaviours within the fashion industry and advance the circular economy.

eBay will support the winner and two runners-up of the Circular Fashion Fund by providing financial support via the Fund, mentorship, industry networking opportunities and a platform to showcase their innovative circular fashion solutions to a wider audience. 

The winners will be chosen by a judging panel of industry experts across fashion, academia, logistics and sustainability. The panel includes KITX Founder Kit Willow, the AFC’s Danielle Kent, Sendle Founder & CEO James Chin Mooney, Liandra Founder and Creative Director, Liandra Gaykamangu, Director of UTS and TAFE NSW’s Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Fashion & Textiles Dr Lisa Lake, The Growth Activists CEO Rosanna Lacono and Head of Fashion eBay Australia, Brooke Eichhorn.

Applications are open until Friday, 10 November 2023. Businesses can apply here .

A shortlist of six finalists will be invited to pitch their ideas to the judges, who will select the three overall funding recipients. The winner will receive a $100,000 grant, and the two runners-up will each be awarded a $50,000 grant. In addition, the three recipients will then enter into a six-week program of mentoring, networking opportunities and workshops, including a workshop hosted by Clare Press, Founder of The Wardrobe Crisis.

Progress Update: Seamless enters its transition phase

Australia's first National Clothing Stewardship Scheme, Seamless, aims to transform how clothing is made, used and recirculated in Australia to achieve clothing circularity by 2030.

On 24 August 2023, the Seamless Transition Advisory Group (TAG) had its second meeting, where it considered the new constitution of the Product Stewardship Organisation (PSO) and approved the CEO job description. These foundational elements of the new PSO are imperative to ensure that the governance set in place will deliver the objectives of the proposed Scheme.

The Seamless TAG is focused on establishing a PSO that looks at product stewardship within a circularity framework, and there are mechanisms in place to ensure that all actors across the clothing supply chain are actively engaged with the PSO.

Stage one of the Seamless transition plan remains on track to have the PSO established by the end of October 2023, with a new Board of Directors and CEO in place. 

Foundation members of Seamless; Big W, David Jones, Lorna Jane, Rip Curl, RM Williams and THE ICONIC, along with a range of clothing supply chain specialists including NSW Environment Protection Authority, Charitable Recycling Australia and Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association attended the meeting.

The clothing industry was further represented by A.BCH, Bassike, Future Fashion Agency and the Australian Fashion Council. 

The TAG’s next meeting is scheduled for 28th September 2023 to further progress the establishment of Seamless.

We are seeking expressions of interest in joining Seamless. Register your brand here to receive updates and information on how to join Seamless before launch.

Register your interest

Transitioning from physical to digital sampling

Supported by the City of Sydney, the first pilot program for AFC’s FashTech Lab was held in 2022 to help fashion brands transition from a physical clothing sampling process to digital sampling. The outcomes included significant reductions in sampling costs, sampling time and textile waste.

Compelling pilot program outcomes

Participants in the first pilot program included Bianca Spender, Cue, Daniel Avakian, Eupheme, Matteau, West 14th, Ramp Tramp Tramp Stamp and Palasade and they were supported by world-leading technology partners Style Atlas, Bandicoot Imaging, Ponz Studios, Couture Cad, Neuno and Ordre.

By producing 30 digital samples in place of physical samples, the brands reported:

• 50% reduction in sampling costs
• Decrease in sampling from 12 weeks on average to 4 weeks
• 225 metres of textile waste eliminated
“We essentially produced our garment digitally - without creating a single sample. You undertake fits and make rounds of changes digitally, then once you are happy with the sample on screen you can make a physical garment, saving rounds of samples.” - Matteau

Additional learnings

While brands in the pilot program relied on one final physical sample before confirming production, as brand confidence in digital sampling grows, this sample would eventually be removed. When combining digital sampling with circular business models like made-to-order production, digital sampling could see brands significantly reducing the number of samples sent to landfill.

Brands reported an improved time to market and the ability to test multiple sizes of a garment without producing a single physical sample. This is a critical benefit that allows brands to improve the fit of their garments and reduce their garment fault rate due to poor fit, further reducing costs and textile waste.

Brands were also impressed with the realism of digital fabrics compared to physical fabrics, and the factors which influenced the adoption of digital sampling technology include the size of the organisation and the current systems in use.

A second pilot in 2023 is confirmed

The AFC is excited to announce FashTech Lab will be returning in 2023, once again supported by the City of Sydney. Joining the digital transformation journey will be Australian Fashion certified brands including Jordan Gogos, The Upside, Commas and Jac + Jack.

For the first time in Australia, brands participating in the second program will get access to an environmental footprint calculator developed in the UK, to allow them to quantify the water and carbon saved from eliminating physical samples.

Our transformation journey

The start of a new year is often a time to reflect and plan, and here at the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) we’re doubling down on our four strategic pillars to guide the AFC’s aim: a just transformation of our industry to a socially, environmentally and economically prosperous circular economy by 2030 and Net Zero by 2050.

Contributing to social, environmental and economic prosperity for our industry

The AFC focuses on four strategic pillars to achieve our aim:

    1. Promoting the Australian Fashion trademark to grow domestic and global demand for design-led brands committed to responsible practice

    2. Building future manufacturing capability of ‘Fibre and its Derivatives’ (from fibre to yarn, textiles to fashion and uniforms) to boost jobs, the economy and our sovereign capability and close the supply chain loop

    3. Developing skills and career pathways to address current and future skills needs, create jobs and boost the economic security of the industry’s women empowered workforce

    4. Transitioning the sector to a circular economy by 2030 via the National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme to create a just transformation towards Net Zero by 2050


Transforming the way we make, consume and recycle clothing

Australia's clothing industry is responsible for more than 200,000 tonnes of landfill waste per annum. The National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme is our industry’s response to Australia’s growing clothing and textile waste problem, to align with global sustainability and carbon reduction targets.

We’ve been incredibly proud to lead the consortium behind the new scheme that includes Charitable Recycling Australia, Sustainable Resource Use, Queensland University of Technology and WRAP, along with key collaborators from the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence, Australian Retailers Association, Australian Council of Recycling, National Retail Association, Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association.

The scheme draws on best practice from around the world and is modelled off four key pillars - designing for circularity, circular business models, closing the material loop and citizen behaviour change, to collectively change the way Australia designs, makes, consumes and re-uses fashion and clothing.

I really do believe that together, we can do what no organisation, brand or individual can do on their own. I encourage you to make the pledge today to join us on the journey to eliminating clothing waste in Australia by 2030.

Welcoming the new Chair of the AFC

The transformation journey is also taking place within the AFC, and I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Marianne Perkovic as the new Chair of the AFC Board.

Marianne has deep commercial and technical experience across business strategy and execution and a passion for driving sustainable transformation with a positive environmental and social impact.

Her career spans over 28 years across the Financial Services Sector including Executive roles at CBA, where she was head of CBA’s Private Bank and prior to that, the CEO of an ASX listed company, Count. At the time of her appointment she was reported as the youngest female CEO of an ASX listed company. Marianne now has a portfolio career that includes Non-Executive Directorships and special advisory work with KPMG, and is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion, and a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW).

Marianne brings new skills and a new perspective to our incredible AFC Board of Directors, and I feel privileged and excited to be working with a team of passionate and courageous experts.

Importantly, I would also like to sincerely thank Professor Robyn Healy for acting as our Chair since 2022, and we’re delighted that she will remain as an important member of our Board.

Industry leaders enabling important change

The AFC’s esteemed patron members now include ebay, Afterpay, the Country Road Group, Decjuba, The Iconic, Kmart, Marque Lawyers, Woolmark and Vicinity Centres. We’re also delighted to welcome a new strategic partner in Epson. This passionate community of industry leaders is enabling the AFC to continue its work to advocate for and guide our industry.

Helping the world to discover, explore and buy Australian fashion

The world first Australian Fashion trademark and international campaign, ‘Down Under, In Front’ launched by the AFC in 2022 continues to sell our unique attributes and values to the world. Find out more about the campaign and the 33 certified Australian Fashion trademark brands on the website.

Building future manufacturing capability, skills and career pathways

We continue to strongly advocate for our industry with all levels of government and I am delighted to have been invited to participate in the Federal Government’s Industry Working Group for the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF). One of the key priorities of the NRF is to unlock the potential value-add to Australia’s raw materials, including wool and cotton, in sectors like fashion and textiles.

Also, as we proudly announced late last year, the 2022 National Skills Priority List has seen eight key fashion and textile skills in the manufacturing space escalate to the 'strong demand' category. This was the first step to activating our third strategic pillar to address current and future skills and jobs needs for our industry. And we are now looking forward to collaborating with the Federal Government’s Jobs and Skills Council, Skills Impact, to advocate for the development and implementation of a nationwide fashion and textile apprenticeship and traineeship program.

Finally, and most importantly, my most sincere thanks to all of you - the brands, retailers, media, creative agencies, clothing charities, educational institutions, partners, industry leaders and individual contributors who continue to support the AFC and our work. We’re inspired by you and guided by you every day, and we look forward to sharing the transformation journey with you all - this year and beyond.

Leila Naja Hibri,
CEO, Australian Fashion Council



National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme

Make the pledge towards eliminating clothing waste in Australia by 2030

Australian Fashion trademark campaign and brands

Australian Government National Reconstruction Fund (NRF)

2022 Skills Priority List Key Findings Report

The Jobs and Skills Council, Skills Impact

Australian fashion industry to move towards circularity by 2030

At a virtual Town Hall attended by more than 250 Australian fashion brands, retailers, charitable recyclers and recycling and clothing waste stakeholders in February 2023, the National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme (NCPSS) released its plan to achieve circularity for Australian clothing and fashion by 2030.

The new Scheme is being driven by a consortium led by the Australian Fashion Council, that includes Charitable Recycling Australia, Sustainable Resource Use, Queensland University of Technology and WRAP, along with key collaborators from the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence, Australian Retailers Association, Australian Council of Recycling, National Retail Association, Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association.

Key to the plan is the recruitment of foundation scheme members during 2023 that will fund the transition phase and help shape the Scheme and its establishment.

During the virtual Town Hall, Australian Fashion Council CEO, Leila Naja Hibri, called upon Australia's major fashion and clothing players to commit to change.

"Australia’s top 30 clothing brands and retailers bring in at least 60% of the 1.5 billion units of clothing that is imported into our market each year. By becoming foundation members, these brands have the opportunity to transform the way Australia makes, consumes and recycles clothing.

Together we can do what no brand or retailer can do on their own. Together we can start our industry’s journey toward a circular economy that eliminates clothing waste by 2030 and net zero by 2050.”

Sustainable business advocate and WRAP Asia Pacific Managing Director Claire Kneller said, "Change in the Australian clothing industry requires commitment from all members of the value chain for successful, longstanding results.

For the industry transformation detailed in the plan to happen, we need to engage the entire industry from clothing brands to retailers and consumers, to play a part in reducing the environmental impacts of clothing, and to consume in a future fit manner."


The NCPSS is the industry response to Australia’s growing clothing and textile waste problem, to align with global sustainability and carbon reduction targets.

Watch the recording from the session to learn about how the scheme is modelled off four key pillars - design for circularity, circular business models, closing the material loop and citizen behaviour change, to collectively change the way Australia designs, makes, consumes and re-uses fashion and clothing.




The Town Hall included an interactive session where attendees could get their questions answered. Explore the answers to the questions that were asked.


Recruitment to join the scheme is currently open for foundation members. Small to medium enterprises can also become involved as circular leaders, and individuals are being asked to make the pledge to join the journey towards clothing circularity in Australia by 2030. Find out more about the scheme and how to get involved.

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.


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)

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).

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

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.


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.



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



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.




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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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.



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.

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;


CEO, Australian Fashion Council

Project Director, National Clothing Stewardship Scheme, Australian Fashion Council

CEO, Charitable Recycling Australia

Associate Professor - Fashion, School Of Design, QUT.

CEO, Sustainable Resource Use

Head Of Asia Pacific, WRAP

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
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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.




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.

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?


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.

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.



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.

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


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.

​​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 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

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.

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.




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


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.

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 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:

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.



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

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.

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&As.

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.




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.



CEO, Australian Fashion Council

Project Director, National Clothing Stewardship Scheme
Australian Fashion Council

Charitable Recycling Australia

Dean, School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT

CEO, Sustainable Resource Use

Head Of Asia Pacific, WRAP




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



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

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.