Media Release: AFC announces Jaana Quaintance-James as its new CEO

The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) is delighted to announce the appointment of Jaana Quaintance-James as its new Chief Executive Officer, commencing in the role today. 

A leader with a strong track record in commercial strategy delivering market advantage through sustainable practices and innovation, Ms Quaintance-James has dedicated her career to driving impactful change across the Fashion and Textile Industry both domestically and internationally. 

Ms Quaintance-James was most recently the Chief Sustainability and Sourcing Officer at Global Fashion Group which operates fashion and lifestyle eCommerce platforms in LATAM and South-East Asia including THE ICONIC in Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this she was Head of Sustainability at THE ICONIC and Ethical Sourcing Manager at David Jones, following a decade-long consulting career in consumer goods.

Marianne Perkovic, Chair of the AFC said, “Ms Quaintance-James joins us at a time when the Australian Fashion and Textile Industry is navigating challenges in the retail and trading environments at a local and global level, inflationary pressures, technology changes and shortages of skilled workers and materials.” 

“There was a high level of interest in this position. We were ultimately impressed by Ms Quaintance-James’ strategic leadership and strong financial, and operational skills. Her industry knowledge and drive for business transformations that improve profitability and sustainability will ensure our industry continues to thrive.”

Ms Quaintance-James said, “I am excited to champion and support our members as they manage change and innovate. Behind the incredible Australian fashion brands are businesses and their employees supported by consumers. Together we create opportunities to accomplish more and continue to grow the economic contributions of the Australian Fashion and Textile Industry”.


Prue-ellen Thomas, Head of Marketing and Communications, AFC 

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.

AFC supports Yes with #FashionForYes

The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) proudly announces its unwavering support for the Voice to Parliament and launch of #FashionForYes, taking a decisive step towards fostering recognition for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This campaign follows the ‘AFC Talks, Voice to Parliament’ event where AFC Director, Yatu Widders-Hunt hosted a panel of powerful Indigenous and industry voices: Rachel Perkins, filmmaker and Co-Chair of Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition, Laura Thompson Founder of Clothing the Gaps, and Elle Roseby Managing Director of Country Road.  

The panel engaged in an open and courageous conversation on the meaning and purpose of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, as well as unpacking some of the noise behind the Voice and why fashion brands should find their voice in support of this historic moment.




JOIN #FashionForYes

The AFC proudly supports the Yes campaign and will share a #FashionForYes toolkit for brands or individuals to use across eDM & Socials.


If you are creating your own communications, we encourage you to include #FashionForYes in your creative and/or captions for us to share and amplify. 



This is our chance to ‘walk the talk’ and act on our industry’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.