Tackling textile waste is an important priority for retailers with efforts now further supported by the Federal Government’s $20 million National Product Stewardship Investment Fund.
Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans is championing the stewardship program enabling industry to take up the challenge and drive solutions, rather than by government decree.
It’s estimated that Australians discard an average of 31 kilos of textiles per person annually, at a national rate of 15 tonnes of textile waste every ten minutes.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley announced $350,000 to support Circular Threads – a new group to be led by The Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA) which will help tackle the growing textile waste problem.
Circular Threads will, among a range of strategies, look towards new technologies that can separate and re-purpose polyester and cotton components and create remanufacturing opportunities, and jobs in Australia.
CEO and founder of ACTA Camille Reed says the long term solution will go even further and create a truly circular model.
Minister Ley announced that the Federal government will also host a national roundtable on textile waste, convening a coalition of organisations across retail, fashion, charities, fibre producers, researchers and waste management. The event will happen later this month.
The National Retail Association applauds Kmart for being the first to put up its hand to be part of the roundtable, along with the Australian Fashion Council.
Many retailers are already taking steps to manage their textile waste joining the Moving the Needle campaign with Salvos Stores, Australian Red Cross and Vinnies NSW encouraging shoppers to donate their pre-loved clothes to a local charity and reduce the number of textiles sent to landfill.
Many areas of sustainability currently affect retailers, and the National Retail Association is actively engaged in numerous projects and regulatory consultation. Find out more about our work in this area.
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