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'Seamless' Product Stewardship scheme launched in Australia

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Style Atlas applauds the work of the Australian Fashion Council in instigating a national product stewardship scheme in Australia. The concept of product stewardship which recognises that the brands who place clothing on the market retain responsibility for the entire life of the garment, not just up until the point it is first sold, is starting to be ratified in legislation coming into effect all around the world. While Seamless was launched by the Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek as a voluntary scheme, the minister made it clear to the industry to take the scheme's voluntary nature as an opportunity to get its house in order and get on board. Otherwise, unless she sees significant industry buy-in within `12 months she will she will legislate to make product stewardship mandatory. Starting with 6 key foundation members the scheme will play an important role in transitioning the industry to more circular practices.

As per the release on the AFC's website, launched by the Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, the National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme design and the Roadmap to Clothing Circularity, aims to significantly reduce the 200,000 tonnes of clothing that currently goes to Australian landfill each year.

Seamless will drive the industry towards clothing circularity by 2030 through:

  • Incentivising clothing design that is more durable, repairable, sustainable and recyclable.

  • Fostering new circular business models for clothing based on reuse, repair, re-manufacturing and rental.

  • Expanding clothing collection and sorting for effective re-use and to ensure non-wearable clothes are recycled.

  • Encouraging citizen behaviour change for clothing acquisition, use, care and disposal.

More on Seamless here.

With the "stick" of potential legislation raised over the head of the local fashion industry it is imperative that tech companies like Style Atlas take the opportunity to develop creative ways to provide the industry "carrots" to incentivise and even generate new revenue streams from circular practices like product stewardship. As discussed in more detail in our Vision we see digital IDs playing a significant role in doing just that.

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