By 2032, the Australian fashion industry has the potential to deliver an additional $10.8 billion in economic gain.

With a government injection of $69 million, it can become a $38 billion industry and create an additional 86,000 jobs.

And in the short term, it has the potential to generate an additional $1.3 billion including $700 million from additional investment, $500 million in exports and $100 million in private consumption and government expenditure. 

These were the findings of Fashion Evolution: From Farm to Industry, an Ernst & Young (EY) industry report sponsored by AAFW sponsors Afterpay.

“The Australian fashion industry is a key creative and economic contributor to our nation," Afterpay cofounder Anthony Eisen said at the launch event. 

Australian Fashion Council (AFC) CEO Leila Naja Hibri added that the industry provided several benefits to employment and growth in Australia. 

"This is an industry that employs hundreds of thousands - many of whom are women. It builds our cultural identity, showcases our capacity for innovation, and contributes to wider economic growth.”

Afterpay Australian Fashion Week is an International Marketing Group (IMG) event supported by the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

In May 2021, the AFC was awarded a federal grant to create an Australian fashion certification trademark and campaign to drive demand for Australian brands locally and internationally. Instantly recognisable, Australian Fashion™ will help more customers discover, explore and buy Australian fashion.

The result will drive industry growth, more jobs and a greater contribution to the local economy that will future-proof the Australian fashion and textile, according to Naja Hibri.

The report is based on four key policy asks:

1. Promote the world-first Australian Fashion™ trademark campaign locally and globally to turbo-charge local and export earnings.

2. Build future manufacturing capability, boosting the demand for Australian fashion and textiles, including for cotton and wool fibres and their derivatives.

3. Boost women’s economic security by developing career pathways for women throughout their working life, addressing current and future industry skills gaps.

4. Build a workable and sustainable circular economy across Australia’s clothing, uniforms and textiles supply chain Implementing all policy recommendations in full will deliver $10.8 billion in economic gain over 10 years, with the potential to create an additional 86,000 jobs for Australians.

In the short term, the policies would increase economic output of 1.3 billion, with a potential ROI of 19:1, "on a modest funding request of $69 million", said Naja Hibri.

Key findings in the report also revealed that the industry’s contribution to GDP would move from 1.5% in 2021, to 2.12% by 2032, a 41% increase in contribution over the 10 years.

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