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 :

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.

DECJUBA is on a journey towards a more responsible future

Welcome to the AFC Expert Series, designed to offer insights from our AFC Patron Members. Immerse yourself in the dynamic world of fashion, textiles, sustainability and technology, as we bring you perspectives and expertise from industry leaders across the clothing value chain.

Embarking on a journey towards a more responsible future, DECJUBA introduces 'DECJUBA Future' an initiative that evaluates materials based on sustainability factors such as compliance, circularity, and supply chain transparency, intending to help their customers make more considered purchases. 

We had the privilege of interviewing Kate Carroll, DECJUBA's Head of Sustainability, to delve into the launch of this initiative, the challenges encountered, and the responses from consumers.

With an environmental science background and having recently completed her MBA, Kate brings a wealth of knowledge cultivated over 15 years in environmental management and sustainability across diverse industries. She reflects on the evolving focus in the industry, transitioning from merely 'doing less harm' to the imperative of 'doing more good'.

1. Can you tell us a bit about ‘DECJUBA Future’ and what inspired the team to launch the initiative, was customer demand a driving factor?

DECJUBA Future is a responsible sourcing initiative driven by our Founder, Tania Austin, and fueled by our commitment to becoming a more responsible fashion brand. It responds to the growing demand from customers for both transparency and sustainability in fashion, including feedback from our customers.

The majority of those surveyed supported responsibly sourced products and sustainable practices.

We're focused on using fibres with a lower environmental impact, with our DECJUBA Future-approved products ensuring at least 80% are green-tier fibres. Our journey involves transparently sharing this information on our website. As we work toward our 2027 targets, it's a collaborative effort across our business to deliver both amazing products and a positive impact.

2. Why is transparency and education important to drive as the Head of Sustainability at DECJUBA? What are some initiatives you have implemented/currently exist to drive this?

Transparency and education hold pivotal roles in our mission and values for several compelling reasons.

Firstly, they serve as vital enablers within the industry, driving improvements in both social and environmental performance. Equally important to this, is the role of transparency in building trust with our customers. By openly communicating that we are on a sustainability journey, we aim to establish an understanding that sustainable growth demands both time and commitment.

We are eager for our customers to join us on this journey, by raising their awareness to help them buy better. 

Connecting our internal team to our sustainability journey and fostering better decision-making and accountability is crucial. We achieve this by engaging our teams in sustainability strategy targets through internal sessions and team meetings focused on their specific work areas. Regular meetings with key stakeholders are also scheduled to track performance and discuss improvement opportunities. Our sustainability scorecard, updated quarterly, provides a transparent overview to the leadership team.

The sustainability targets we are working towards include a new 5 green star head office building, 100% renewable energy, 100% reusable, compostable or recyclable packaging, and a circularity program or partnership focusing on sustainable innovation and impactful new models that keep valuable resources in use for longer.

3. What challenges have you encountered in transitioning to green-tiered fibres?

Transitioning to green-tiered fibres has been a complex process of researching responsible fibres over 18 months and developing our framework before launching it to our customers. The process has presented several challenges for our team to overcome, including:

4. How do you view the importance of empowering customers to make eco-conscious choices? 

Empowering our Decjuba customers to make better choices is extremely important to us. We recognise that consumers play a pivotal role in driving positive environmental impact through their purchasing decisions. By providing information, transparency, and sustainable options, we aim to enable our customers to make choices that align directly with their values. 

We feel this not only contributes to a more sustainable industry but also fosters a collective sense of responsibility toward the environment. Consumers are committed to doing the right thing and making better choices in the sustainability space. Our responsibility is to provide those options and choices in a way that is convenient for them.

5. Have you noticed a substantial rise in expenses associated with the implementation of environmentally friendly fibres, and what strategies does your business have in place to address the possibility of increased material costs?

We approach the implementation of environmentally friendly fibres with a balanced perspective, considering factors like margin, region, and sustainability. While we absorb sustainability price premiums where possible, and of course, this can present challenges. 

Fortunately, recycled fibres such as recycled polyester or nylon have proven to be cost-competitive. Additionally, we’re actively exploring efficiency improvements in other aspects of our operations, such as ordering and stock management, to potentially offset any increased material costs.

It’s a strategic and adaptive approach to our business practices with sustainability goals. 

6. Tell us about your participation in the Textile Exchange recycled polyester challenge and your goals for the challenge.

Our four-year membership with Textile Exchange has been invaluable, reinforcing our commitment to sustainability. Our participation in the Textile Exchange material challenge is a significant step, pledging to source 80% or more of the total polyester in our products from recycled polyester by 2025. 

This commitment aligns with our dedication to circularity and responsibly sourced green-tier fibres through our DECJUBA Future initiative. It's a tangible demonstration of our ongoing efforts to drive positive environmental impact within the textile industry.

7. What recommendations can you offer to fellow brands that are considering a switch to green-tiered fibres?

For brands contemplating a switch to green-tiered fibres, we would recommend:

Explore the DECJUBA Future initiative and follow their progress by clicking here.

With special thanks to Kate Carroll and the team at DECJUBA.