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Redesigning Tomorrow... Today: Fashion’s Circular Future

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 3:45 pm - 5:15 pm

Organised by

Australian Fashion Council

Presented by the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) and RawAssembly.

By design the circular economy is a collaborative system that requires different actors to function under a set of shared values and principles. From a variety of perspectives this panel will deconstruct and explore the way in which design needs to evolve to realise the potential of fashions circular future.

Facilitated by Thea Speechley (Founder, RawAssembly), the panel will feature Alison Gwilt (Associate Professor in Design, UNSW), Courtney Holm (Founder & Creative Director, A.BCH), Kirsi Terho (Key Account Director, Infinited Fiber), and Matt Davis (National Director, Salvos Stores).

This session is part of the AFC's Responsible Fashion series, supported by City of Sydney.


Thea Speechley - Founder, RawAssembly

A creative leader and entrepreneur with 25 years of textile and apparel experience. Thea is known for advocating change, sharing knowledge and propelling cutting edge product and fibre innovation in the realms of sustainability and circular resource efficiency.

Thea possesses comprehensive fashion industry experience. A knowledge base that extends from fibre growing, raw material production, apparel design and manufacturing, all the way through to branding and leadership of fashion and textile companies.

A combination of this industry experience and recognition of the need for change was the inspiration for Thea to establish RawAssembly™, a global responsible fashion magazine and sourcing event that provides responsible sourcing and manufacturing networks for a renewed fashion industry, driven by innovation and a focus on renewable materials.

Thea works as an active contributor to industry research groups, roundtables, reports and has presented and facilitated working groups with the Sherman Institute of Culture & Ideas, The Institute of Frontier Materials, Queensland University of technology, International Cotton Advisory Committee and the Technical Advisory Committee, shaping workforce skills for the future.


Dr Alison Gwilt - Associate Professor in Design, UNSW

Dr Alison Gwilt is an author, researcher and Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her work examines the innovative design methods and approaches that enable the fashion and textiles community, from educators, to producers, and consumers, to adopt more sustainable, and circular, practices. Her books include, ‘A Practical Guide to Sustainable Fashion’ (2014; 2nd ed. 2020); ‘Fashion Design for Living’ (2015); and she is co-editor of ‘Shaping Sustainable Fashion’ (2011); and ‘Global Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion’ (2019)

Courtney Holm - Founder & Creative Director, A.BCH

A.BCH is a circular fashion label on a mission to transform the way people buy, wear and discard clothing. A.BCH focuses on eliminating material and energy waste through the entire lifecycle of a garment whilst creating beautiful, design-led products for people around the world to love and enjoy. Through a unique point of view, focus on education and customer empowerment plus a hyper-transparent business model, Courtney is leading the charge in demonstrating fashion circularity and a reimagined future for the industry at large.

Kirsi Terho - Key Account Director, Infinited Fibre Company

Kirsi Terho (She/Her) is Infinited Fiber Company’s key account director and networker extraordinaire. With a background in chemistry and the viscose industry – as well as in photography and IT – Kirsi is Infinited’s main point of contact with global fashion brands and responsible for sales. She joined the fashion technology startup in 2017 and is on a mission to make circularity in textiles an everyday reality. Learn more about Infinited Fiber Company at

Matt Davis - National Director, Salvos Stores

Matt Davis is a highly skilled and respected leader and strategist having held key roles in large organisations and retailers including Directorships at ALDI Stores and General Manager of Sales & Marketing at World Vision Australia. Matt has also served on the board of EACH, an organisation providing health and disability services in Australia and is in his fifth year as Chairperson for Charitable Recycling Australia, advancing the governance, innovation and impact of charities and their retail shops around Australia. In 2016, Matt was appointed as Chief Executive Officer for Salvos Stores Southern Territory and in May 2018 was appointed as National Director - Salvos Stores Australia.

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