Australia’s first-ever national clothing product stewardship scheme has launched into full operation today with over 60 members on board so far. 

This includes foundation members such as Big W, Ceres, Cotton On Group, David Jones, Factorie, Lorna Jane, Rip Curl, R.M.Williams, Rubi Shoes, Sportsgirl, Sussan, Suzanne Grae and The Iconic.

Starting today, Seamless members contribute $0.04 cents for each new garment placed on the Australian market or $0.03 cents for each garment manufactured with an agreed composition which drives the use of more sustainable materials.

They will also display the Seamless logo on new garments and communicate their commitment to circularity, with ongoing plans to implement circularity pilot programs such as end-of-life product take-backs, circular design, repair, and re-use solutions. This will be funded by the money raised through the levy.

Seamless CEO Ainsley Simpson said despite the economic challenges of today, recent conversations with brands have indicated more will join the scheme.

“What is clear is that they see the benefits of pooling their investment, and driving forward the key priorities for their businesses, which include things like diversifying their revenue models, creating financial efficiencies, and most importantly, also mitigating climate action,” she said. 

“What we're finding is that the conversation and the decision to join Siemens is not about why they want to join Seamless, but rather when. 

“So our doors remain open. And we will welcome brands to a seat at the table whenever they're ready.”

When asked if the levy amount will change ahead, Simpson said it is a fair and reasonable place to start. 

“The initial levy was determined using an evidence-based economic model, global benchmarking and wide industry consultation,” she said. “So four cents is a fair and reasonable place for us to start. 

“The model was evolved and intended to always be shifting and changing with the progress that we're making. But that can be done with our members and the industry.”

Simpson also confirmed that regulation is on the cards ahead as Minister for Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek warned this time last year, and through the transition period of Seamless. 

“I think it's important to note that clothing is on the Minister's product priority list,” Simpson said. “We are on a road to regulation. 

“The responsible brands that are standing with us have chosen to help pave that pathway, and we know that others are going to be joining us. 

“But regulation is there to address market failures. Over the next year, we will have a strong evidence base as to where those market failures are occurring, and we can help inform how and why the government regulate.”

Seamless was established through a consortium led by the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) with Charitable Recycling Australia, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Sustainable Resource Use and WRAP.

comments powered by Disqus