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National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme

Creating clothing circularity and reducing textile waste

 
The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) will lead a consortium of industry disruptors, brands, manufacturers, retailers, reuse charities, fibre producers, academics and waste management companies to create Australia’s first National Product Stewardship Scheme for clothing textiles.
 
This world class initiative 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 $1 million grant was announced on the 15th November 2021 by the Hon. Sussan Ley MP and the Hon. Trevor Evans MP, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction. The grant was awarded through the National Product Stewardship Fund, which was launched following the first ever Industry Roundtable on Clothing Textile Waste hosted at Parliament in May 2021.
 
In consortium with Charitable Recycling Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Sustainable Resource Use and WRAP, the AFC will identify, educate, empower and activate all stakeholders to better manage and improve environmental and human impacts of their product and materials. The outcome-oriented and measurable action plan towards a circular system will address four action points on the Minister’s Priority List 21-22, requiring coordinated action from industry and community.

Australia’s Textile Waste Problem

Each year, Australians accumulate 27 kilograms of textiles and clothing per person on average and discard around 23 kilograms. While second hand clothing shops, social and enterprise retailers help reduce textile waste 780,000 tonnes of waste is still sent into landfill, making Australia the second highest consumers of textiles per person in the world, after the United States of America.

The Scheme

The Scheme will deliver three key stages, launching in November 2021 and ending in March 2023: Mapping the current state through data & material flow analysis and stakeholder engagement to inform Scheme design; Co-developing the Scheme with industry through testing and building the evidence base; and operationalising the Scheme to be ready for a phased, national roll-out.
 
Key deliverables distributed to industry, community and government will include:
 
Data & Material Flow Analysis Report - Identifying data requirements, data sources, data gaps, and making recommendations on how these may be filled.
 
Global Scan Report - A robust analysis of global initiatives promoting circularity in clothing textiles, including systems, policies, technologies, and infrastructure.
 
Scheme Recommendation Report - The final report of all analyses and recommendations on sustainable improvements based on the finalised Scheme design, essentially the ‘business plan’.
 
Roadmap to 2030 - Including a review at 2024 in preparation for meeting the Minister’s Priority List targets for 2025 for Actions 1, 3 and 4.
 
 
The ‘shovel-ready’ Scheme will provide clear plans for the sector and a long term self-sustaining economic model in place, underpinned by evidence, to transition to a circular clothing economy. The outcome being that most Australian clothing sector stakeholders from across the supply chain, will be committed to progressing action once the Scheme is launched.
 
Collaboration partners also include the Australian Retailers Association, Australian Council of Recycling, National Retail Association, Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association Australia.
 
We have now opened up expressions of interest to industry stakeholders. Please register your interest below.

“We have long needed an industry-led solution that actively involves all key stakeholders, defines their responsibility and provides clear action to achieve a circular clothing economy. Everyone has a responsibility to make and buy better. This Scheme is critical to creating a sustainable textile industry in Australia, and in turn will also create significant opportunities to drive innovation, better business and the creation of new jobs and skill sets for Australians”

Kellie Hush, Acting CEO
Australian Fashion Council

Expressions of Interest Now Open

“We will learn from best global practices and partner with peak bodies and organisations with existing programs to create a multi-stakeholder roadmap towards clothing circularity in Australia by 2030. Each business and organisation with a touchpoint in both the supply chain and product life cycle must recognise their responsibility and actively contribute to textile circularity and reduction of waste”

Kellie Hush, Acting CEO
Australian Fashion Council

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