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21 March 2019 - In fashion and philosophy, the beauty of a circle is marked by an absence of a beginning and an end.
Launching in 2018, the Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA) harnesses this principal, but with a very clear end goal: zero textile waste.
The ACTA is the market’s first organisation offering to act as the voice of Australia’s fashion industry, which has shown a proven desire to evolve towards sustainability.
It’s the next step for fashion brands looking to turn an eco-ideology into a feasible, manageable, and – best of all – successful business model.
Founder Camille Reed says ACTA is “a national body association to support the fashion industry in transitioning from a linear take-make-waste model, to full circularity.
“We encompass a lot of directional tools around new resources, education platforms, and particularly a textile take-back program, and addressing textile waste.
“We’re the facilitator and the aggregator to help join the dots to save industry, and the entire vertical supply chain that’s connected with industry, time and money to facilitate sustainability,” said Camille.
Per capita, Australians are the second largest consumers of apparel worldwide. Businesses serving this market are now more conscious than ever of their responsibility to reduce – and ultimately eliminate – textile waste.
A sense of accountability in product stewardship is triggered by a growing number of alarming statistics.
Every 10 minutes, Australians send 6 tonnes of textile to landfill.
The fashion industry contributes to nearly 7 percent of the global climate impact. Shockingly, we’re the world’s second-largest polluter behind coal and oil.
Consider, if polyester was replaced by recyclables, the fashion industry could save almost half the amount of carbon dioxide that it’s responsible for every year.
What’s more, brands are waking up to the commercial value in sustainability.
In less than a year, ACTA has already attracted more than 300 industry professional, including 3 founding partners and a tier-one consultancy firm.
It’s no longer an industry secret that recovering, reusing, and recycling materials is cheaper than sending goods to landfill or incineration, with 95 percent of all textiles available for repurpose.
Circular textile management makes economic sense in acknowledging that nearly 30 percent of all purchases returned to stores are never sold, becoming “dead stock.”
Unsurprisingly, brands with a commitment to sustainability also earn themselves esteemed credibility in the eyes of consumers.
Simply by virtue of their eco-ethos, Lush, Patagonia, Kathmandu, and RM Williams are among companies which have successfully generated a loyal consumer base, with the knowledge more than half of all customers want to shop more sustainably.
With this growing awareness, the fashion industry is on the brink of a flood of new policies and import regulations.
Widespread change affecting the entire vertical supply chain is expected over the next five years, bringing into question the institutional role and liability of industry and waste.
ACTA helps its members to proactively develop and address its stewardship responsibilities, and the national body the industry can turn to in times when policy overhaul inevitably arrives.
More than this, ACTA is the bridge connecting industry to recycling companies, while ensuring its members benefit from the monetisation of textile waste.
The Association’s already in partnership with the Australian Packaging Covenant, and charities that collect pre-loved garments, as key solution providers to operate closed-loop recycling. This is a unique service that is not otherwise available for the Australian fashion industry.
Finally, ACTA’s model of circular innovation taps into an Australian industry worth more than $22 billion. By 2024, ACTA expects to boast more than a quarter of Australian fashion industry as members, along with more than 110 fashion retailers in New South Wales and Victoria. This means that, at a conservative calculation, ACTA will be worth close to $4 million dollars.
Based on these projections, ACTA will be responsible for cutting 90 percent of all polyester currently destined for landfill, and will have saved nearly 680 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions – that’s the equivalent to the electricity used by 102 thousand homes in one year.
Join ACTA, the movement that makes circular textiles a practical business reality.