Published on 17/01/19
The Australian fashion industry is gearing up for a big year of change in 2019. Consumer demand has seen many of the country’s leading brands sharpen their focus on ethics, while existing and emerging designers are putting supply chain transparency at the heart of their business.
Another indicator of change is the introduction of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia last year which has only reinforced this need for accountability. Ethical practices and supply chain transparency however are only part of a bigger discussion about the future of fashion – environmental stewardship is increasingly taking priority for many businesses, as consumers focus more on the ecological and environmental cost of what they wear.
Changing fashion is complex – it takes a united approach from businesses and advocacy groups, and the creativity and resourcefulness that makes our industry great. The Australian Circular Fashion Conference (ACFC) will bring together all the key agents of this change, in its second year, on March 21 at St Kilda Town Hall.
As the country’s only supply chain accreditation program for businesses manufacturing in Australia, Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA®) is proud to be a media partner for the 2019 ACFC conference. ECA accredited labels are at the forefront of this change, with many adopting circular principles as part of a broader commitment to ethics and sustainability.
“The rise of the circular fashion movement is another positive step toward an industry that considers the real cost of the clothing that we wear”, ECA National Manager Angela Bell says.
“Our accreditation program looks at the people who are making the products – independently checking to make sure that the workers are being paid appropriately and working under the rights conditions throughout the entire supply chain but what is heartening is that many of our accredited businesses are focused on all areas of the supply chain including the materials and production and their impact on the environment.
“With so many ECA-accredited businesses putting sustainability and circularity at the core of what they do, we’re excited to be partnering with the Australian Circular Fashion Conference in 2019.”
Circular fashion utilises innovative recycling practices to reduce residual waste in textile, clothing and footwear supply chains – currently averaging 2.25m tonnes per year in Australia, with an estimated value of $500 million in clothing. By 2030, it is predicted that the fashion industry will be using two Earths’ worth of resources, with demand for clothing rising by 63%.
“What we are doing is making sure that the decision makers in the industry have the information and knowledge that they need to help bring about change. We believe this is how we can see a real transition for modernisation in current fashion production,” ACFC Director Camille Reed says.
“Collaboration is the key. Stewardship and extended producer responsibilities have never been more pertinent.”
To further the impact of the annual conference, the Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA) was established with Camille as director. ACTA will serve as the voice of the industry and work towards making the Australian fashion industry more sustainable.
The 2019 Australian Circular Fashion Conference will be held on March 21 in Melbourne. Further information about tickets, events and speakers is available online australiancircularfasion.com.au or on Facebook.
Media enquiries: Contact Camille Reed on 0421 860 594
The Australian Circular Fashion Conference was established in 2018 by a group of industry advocacy specialists and Australia’s most renowned sustainability experts. The aim of the annual conference is to get key stakeholders in the industry to join forces to build economically viable means to practice sustainable and circular manufacturing practices.