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 :
- Kate Bergin - David Jones Pty Ltd
- Peter Bruce - Woolworths Group Limited trading as Big W
- Peri-Jane Crosbie - Internet Services Australia 1 PTY LTD trading as The Iconic
- Anna Fowler - Lorna Jane Pty Ltd
- Rebecca Hard - ARJ Group Holdings Pty Ltd
- Angela Winkle - R.M. Williams Pty Ltd
- Nichol Wylie - Rip Curl Pty Ltd
- Michelle Pacey – Cotton On Australia Ltd
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.
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:
- In what may be a first for any Australian board, Australia’s Clothing Stewardship scheme created a board role for a Guardian of Nature.
- Creating a Product Stewardship Organisation (PSO) with a circularity framework.
- Implementing mechanisms to engage all clothing supply chain actors with the PSO.
- Developing a clear organisational constitution with objectives related to clothing circularity.
- Defining the role of supply chain stakeholders in the organisation's governance.
- Welcoming Cotton On as the newest Seamless Foundation Member, alongside Sussan Group, Big W, David Jones, Lorna Jane, Rip Curl, R.M. Williams, and THE ICONIC.
“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.
Womenswear giant Sussan Group joins Seamless Foundation Members
The Australian Fashion Council is proud to share that the Sussan Group (Sussan, Sportsgirl & Suzanne Grae) have proudly signed on as a Foundation Member of Seamless, Australia’s national clothing stewardship scheme that aims to make Australian fashion and clothing truly circular by 2030.
The landmark scheme has been set up to change the way Australians consume and recycle their clothes and reduce the 200,000 tonnes of clothing that goes to Australian landfill each year.
The Sussan Group is delighted to join fellow Foundation Members David Jones, Big W, Rip Curl, RM Williams, Lorna Jane and The Iconic. “Together we are working towards shaping a sustainable future for the fashion industry,” Group Retail CEO Rebecca Hard said.
“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,” Ms Hard continued.
"It is so pleasing to see Sussan Group stepping up as a leader in our industry by becoming a Seamless Foundation member and making a genuine commitment to the future of the Australian fashion industry,” said Danielle Kent, Project Director of Seamless. “These organisations will play a pivotal part in building the foundational elements of the scheme and ensuring it has the best chance of success.”
The National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme design and the Roadmap to Clothing Circularity will drive the industry towards clothing circularity by 2030 through:
- Incentivising clothing design that is more durable, repairable, sustainable, and recyclable
- Fostering new circular business models for Australian fashion based on reuse, repair, re-manufacturing, and rental
- Expanding clothing collection and sorting for effective re-use and to ensure non-wearable clothes are recycled into new high value products and materials
- Encouraging citizen behaviour change for clothing acquisition, use, care and disposal
Register your interest for Seamless