- A new scheme being launched this week aims to reduce fashion industry waste.
- The National Clothing Stewardship Scheme aims to improve the design, recovery, reuse and recycling of textiles.
- The Australian fashion industry is a contributor to the growing mass of textile waste.
“Our industry is at a pivotal point, it is at a breaking point, in terms of its social and environmental impact,” Ms Hibri said.
The new National Clothing Stewardship Scheme is designed to tackle that problem, and is to be launched on Wednesday by Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek.
Participating brands will pay a fee of around four cents for every imported item, and are likely to be rewarded with a rebate if their designs are easy to recycle.
Adrian Jones, the co-founder of BlockTexx, runs Australia’s first large-scale textile recycling facility in Logan, Queensland, which opened in February this year.
BlockTexx uses a patented chemical process to convert the textiles into the individual building blocks of polyester and cotton. The components are then resold.
For example, polyester pellets are used for injection moulding, creating children’s playground equipment, safety hats and safety barriers, Mr Jones said.
Mr Jones says the BlockTexx plant will processes 4,000 tonnes of textile waste this year, and he aims to increase that to 10,000 tonnes annually.
Charity initiatives like Thread Together divert unsold new clothing from landfill and distribute it to those in need. However, Australia’s clothing carbon footprint could still be as high as 13 million tonnes per year.
In May this year, European governments reached a landmark decision to ban the destruction of unsold textiles, a practice that contributes to massive waste and pollution in the fashion industry.
“Having onshore recyclers is absolutely what we need to do.”