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Media Release: AFC Innovation & Sustainability Showcase

The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) with Jodie Haydon, Partner of the Prime Minister, hosted an Australian fashion sustainability event attended by leading Australian fashion designers, industry allies and government officials. Three Australian-made innovations pushing the industry's environmental transition were projected throughout Kirribilli House thanks to Epson Australia, AFC’s print and projection technology partner: Australian Fashion […]

by Prue-Ellen Thomas

11 May 2024

The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) with Jodie Haydon, Partner of the Prime Minister, hosted an Australian fashion sustainability event attended by leading Australian fashion designers, industry allies and government officials. Three Australian-made innovations pushing the industry's environmental transition were projected throughout Kirribilli House thanks to Epson Australia, AFC’s print and projection technology partner:

Australian Fashion Council FashTech Lab: Supported by four local Australian technology partners (Style Atlas, Bandicoot Imaging, Couture Cad and Ponz Studio), FashTech Lab piloted 15 Australian brands who achieved savings on cost, time, carbon, water and textile waste by transitioning from physical sampling to digital sampling. The project also highlights the potential to keep jobs and digital skills local.

Mud to Marle: The 2023 Country Road Climate Fund winner led by Full Circle Fibres, Deakin University and textile manufacturer Loomtex, transforms low-value Australian wool and Australian cotton into a natural high-value yarn.

“Mud to Marle demonstrates full manufacturing capability from growing to sewing, showing that, contrary to popular belief, it actually is possible to innovate, create and scale low-impact and circular textile solutions in Australia,” said Full Circle Fibres Founder, Meriel Chamberlin.

BlockTexx: BlockTexx is an Australian clean technology company that recovers polyester and cellulose from textiles and clothing, creating a global solution for hard to recycle clothing blends.

Adrian Jones, Co-founder of Blocktexx said, “Our advanced technology, chemistry and manufacturing are key to unlocking the potential for future materials. Thousands of tonnes of textiles are being diverted from landfill annually through our commercial scale textile recovery facility.”

Each activation uses proprietary technology and innovation and places a spotlight on the potential for Australia to be globally competitive. The key message of the evening was that with collaboration, technology can position the Australian fashion industry as a leader of responsibly made, high quality, design-led clothing and textiles.

Jaana Quaintance-James, CEO of the AFC, stated "A small snapshot of our industry’s huge potential was on display this evening. While we can never compete with labour costs overseas, we can gain a competitive edge globally by leveraging the raw fibres here in Australia and right shoring, with advanced technology. Australia, with its beautiful cotton and wool, burgeoning capability and creative talent, has such a unique position that has the potential to push us into a world leading position.”

Quaintance-James continued “With the right investment, collaboration and innovative technologies, Australia has all of the ingredients to become renowned globally for high-quality, design-led, responsibly made and circular clothing. And with this, will come jobs and the skills of the future that can provide economic security for our 77% female-powered workforce. Fashion, as beautiful as it is on the runways, is a serious $27.2b business and has the potential to become so much more.”

The Australian Fashion Council looks forward to further industry collaboration to accelerate its commitment to innovation and sustainability, with their technology partners including Epson. Together, we can create a thriving, more sustainable and globally competitive Australian fashion industry.

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Jaana Quaintance-James, CEO of the AFC Speech can be viewed here
For enquiries and interviews, please contact Prue-ellen Thomas, Head of Marketing & Communications, pthomas@ausfashioncouncil.com.

ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN FASHION COUNCIL:
The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) is a not-for-profit and the peak body for the Australian fashion and textile industry, representing the sector for over 65 years. Members are drawn from across the value chain and range from micro to enterprise businesses, education institutions, state and national industry associations and students. The AFC’s aim is to guide the just transformation of the industry to a socially, environmentally, and economically prosperous circular economy by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.

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