The fight for sustainable fashion is heating up.
This week the Australian Government is set to approve a $100 million deal to build the country’s first ever fashion factory, and to launch a program to develop sustainable products and processes.
The factory is being funded by the Australian Industry Group, an industry lobby group that represents fashion brands and is backed by major retailers including Gap, Woolworths and J. Crew.
The deal, which will see the construction of a new 7,000-square metre factory in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs, comes after months of negotiations between the Government and the AIG, the countrys largest fashion exporter.
“This is a very important project for the Australian industry, it is a big deal for our economy, for the state of Victoria and the world,” said Andrew Robb, chief executive of the Australian Fashion Group, in a speech announcing the deal on Tuesday.
“We have been in talks with the Government for some time about this project and we have been very happy to be part of this.”
The new factory is expected to employ about 200 people.
It is a joint venture between the Australian Retail Consortium and a private company called TCL, which has a long-standing relationship with Gap.TCL will develop and supply new products to the new factory, while the Australian Institute of Fashion will work on sustainability initiatives.
The $100m deal will allow Gap to take the lead in developing sustainable fashion products, and help to diversify its supply chain.
“There is a huge opportunity here for Gap to be the leader in sustainable fashion, in fashion that doesn’t pollute,” Robb said.
“The more that you do that the more sustainable your supply chain is going to be, the more you are going to see people using products in sustainable ways, not just being the brand’s logo.”
But the Australian government’s approval of the deal comes as a major challenge to fashion brands, who have fought for years to make their products sustainable.
“Gap has fought for the rights of the fashion consumer,” said David Goulburn, executive director of the Fashion Council of Victoria.
“But I think the government’s position has been that it wants to be a leader in the industry, and that is not the position of all the fashion groups.”
They have been campaigning for years against this deal, and they are still fighting to get it through.”‘
We don’t need a fashion industry that’s not sustainable’The Government is backing a new program to make fashion more sustainable.
The Australian Fashion Council is one of the groups that are fighting the deal, but the industry has been fighting back against the proposed regulations since they were first announced in January.”
The government has gone against fashion trends and the fashion community in Australia, and is in a position where they can’t even produce their own clothes.””
We don´t need a clothing industry that is a waste of money.”
“The government has gone against fashion trends and the fashion community in Australia, and is in a position where they can’t even produce their own clothes.”
What they have done is they have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.
“The AIG and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have been negotiating a new deal for years, but in January, they agreed to the AIC and the ACCC to make a new agreement that includes a $20 million payment to the industry.
The ACCC has been in negotiations with the AICS since February, and said it was now ready to approve the new deal.”
It is important to note that the ACCCM has not endorsed the Government’s position on the issue of sustainable fashion,” ACCC director David Kavanagh said in a statement.”
For more than a decade, the ACCCA has been advocating for an industry-wide approach to the sustainability of fashion.””
In its view, there is an urgent need for a change in the current rules of the game, and the introduction of new rules, so that a meaningful range of industries can benefit from the Australian fashion industry, while also respecting the values of fair trade.”AIG said it is committed to working with the Australian clothing industry to make sure sustainable fashion continues to thrive.”
Our focus is on supporting the Australian economy and ensuring the sustainability and sustainability standards of our clothing supply chain are met,” said AIG’s chief executive, Andrew Robb.