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· Posted on
June 9, 2023

Fashionably late: Aussie retailers risk a 'sustainability levy' after the sloooow embrace of sustainable fashion

A new voluntary scheme called the Seamless scheme has hit the fashion industry.

What's the key learning?

  • The idea of the Seamless scheme is that fashion retailers who sign up will pay 4 cents per garment sold to Seamless, and that money would go to things like sustainable design, reselling used items, and recycling textiles.
  • If the scheme reaches its target, the Australian Fashion Council reckon they can divert 60% of old clothing away from landfill by 2027.
  • The fashion industry could be responsible for as much as 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to global consulting firm Mckinsey.

👉 Background: While it may surprise you, Australia's fashion industry is a bit of a beast. It contributes over $27 billion dollars to the economy and employs more people than the mining industry.

👉 What happened: Now, a new voluntary scheme called the Seamless scheme has hit the industry. Fashion retailers who sign up will pay 4 cents per garment sold to Seamless. That money would go towards things like sustainable design, reselling used items, and recycling textiles.

👉 What else: If the scheme reaches its target, the Australian Fashion Council reckon they can divert 60% of old clothing away from landfill by 2027. Now so far, only 6 of the 30 brands approached have signed up, including Big W and David Jones. But, major clothing brands only have 12 months to volunteer to the scheme or they'll face regulation directly.

What's the key learning?

💡The fashion industry is starting to come to terms with its environmental impact.

💡The fashion industry could be responsible for as much as 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to global consulting firm Mckinsey. That's a bigger contribution to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined.

💡And while this scheme is "a great first step", it’s probably… maybe… only likely that other retailers will participate when it becomes a mandatory scheme.

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