A sustainability report led by Curtin University has called for ‘immediate action on improving the way clothing and textiles are circulated’, demanding to cut waste and extend the life of materials.
The State of Circulatory in Fashion and Textiles in WA was a year-long research project undertaken by the Western Australia Circular Fashion Consortium and was made in response to the large volume of textile waste going into landfill.
The report, which presents an ‘overview and recommendations designed to address clothing textile waste in WA’, was conducted to advance the the circular economy of clothing.
Senior lecturer at Curtin University’s School of Design and Built Environment and consortium convenor Dr Anne Farren said the way in which clothing items are recycled needs a ‘complete rethink’.
“The Australian Fashion Council estimates more than 200,000 tonnes of clothing ends up in landfill each year in Australia, and there is an urgent need to reduce the huge volume of clothing-based textile waste going to landfill,” Ms Farren says.
“We have recommended the development of a clothing and textile roundtable with delegates from local government, the regional charitable recycling sector, academia, and research, fibre growers, the processing sector, the waste management sector, clothing manufacturers and fashion enterprises.
“This would form the foundation for ongoing dialogue and collaboration to strategically converge efforts to address product stewardship, eliminate waste from our systems, and address the pressing concerns posed by current textile waste dilemmas,” she says.
According to the report, Western Australia’s fashion and textile sector contributes $2.3 billion to Australian’s economy, making up over eight-per-cent of the country’s fashion and textile labour market.