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National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme releases plan

National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme

The National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme (NCPSS) has released its plan to achieve circularity for Australian clothing and fashion by 2030. 

The NCPSS is being driven by a consortium led by the Australian Fashion Council, that includes Charitable Recycling Australia, Sustainable Resource Use, Queensland University of Technology and WRAP, along with key collaborators from the Product Stewardship Centre of Excellence, Australian Retailers Association, Australian Council of Recycling, National Retail Association, Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association. 

The NCPSS will shortly begin a development and transition phase and will be operational from July 1, 2024. 

Key to the plan is the recruitment of foundation scheme members during 2023 that will fund the transition phase and help shape the Scheme and its governance structure. 

During a virtual townhall attended by more than 250 Australian fashion brands, retailers, charitable recyclers and recycling and clothing waste stakeholders, Australian Fashion Council CEO, Leila Naja Hibri, called upon Australia’s major fashion and clothing players to commit to change. 

“Australia’s top 30 clothing brands and retailers bring in at least 60 per cent of the 1.5 billion units of clothing that is imported into our market each year,” she said. “By becoming foundation members, these brands have the opportunity to transform the way Australia makes, consumes and recycles clothing. 

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“Together we can do what no brand or retailer can do on their own. Together we can start our industry’s journey toward a circular economy by 2030 and net zero by 2050.” 

Sustainable business advocate and WRAP Asia Pacific Managing Director Claire Kneller said, “Change in the Australian clothing industry requires commitment from all members of the value chain for successful, longstanding results. 

For the industry transformation detailed in the plan to happen, we need to engage the entire industry from clothing brands to retailers and consumers, to play a part in reducing the environmental impacts of clothing, and to consume in a future fit manner.” 

Australia’s clothing industry is responsible for more than 200,000 tonnes per annum of Australian landfill waste. The The National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme is the industry response to Australia’s growing clothing and textile waste problem, to align with global sustainability and carbon reduction targets. 

The Scheme is modelled off four key pillars – design for circularity, circular business models, closing the material loop and citizen behaviour change, to collectively change the way Australia designs, makes, consumes and re-uses fashion and clothing. 

Recruitment to join the scheme is currently open for foundation members. Small to medium enterprises can also become involved as circular leaders, and individuals are being asked to make the pledge to join the journey towards clothing circularity in Australia by 2030. 

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