Seamless breaks new ground with ‘Guardian of Nature’ independent director board role

Seamless breaks new ground with ‘Guardian of Nature’ independent director board role

– Cotton On announced as a new foundation member of Seamless
– Phase one of establishing Seamless is completed

In what may be a first for any industry initiative, Australia’s Clothing Stewardship Scheme, Seamless, has created a board role for a Guardian of Nature. This dedicated role will focus on ensuring the interests of one of the most important stakeholders in the drive to circularity is represented in strategic decision-making.

A first of its kind national product stewardship scheme, Seamless aims to make Australian fashion and clothing truly circular, and significantly reduce the 200,000 tonnes of clothing that currently goes to Australian landfill each year. Created by a Consortium led by the Australian Fashion Council with Charitable Recycling Australia, Queensland University of Technology, Sustainable Resource Use and WRAP Asia Pacific, Seamless is now being established by the Transition Advisory Group (TAG).

Key achievements of the Seamless TAG since July 2023:

    • Establishing a product stewardship organisation (PSO) that looks at product stewardship within a circularity framework.
    • Creating mechanisms to ensure that all actors across the clothing supply chain are actively engaged with the PSO.
    • Developing an organisational constitution with clear objectives related to clothing circularity.
    • Outlining the role of supply chain stakeholders in the governance of the organisation.

The TAG is made up of Foundation Members of Seamless along with a range of clothing supply chain specialists including NSW Environment Protection Authority, Charitable Recycling Australia and Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association. The clothing industry is further represented by A.BCH, bassike, Future Fashion Agency and the Australian Fashion Council.

In making the announcement, Danielle Kent, Seamless Project Director said: “The core goal of Seamless is creating a circular clothing industry by 2030, where responsible stewardship and citizenship are embedded across the entire clothing lifecycle.

“I’m delighted by the tremendous leadership of the Seamless TAG. The group has already approved one of the most progressive, stakeholder-centred constitutions of any product stewardship scheme. Now, they have taken this a step further, by placing nature at the centre of every important decision.

Rosanna Iacono, Independent Chair of the Seamless TAG, applauded the courage and commitment of the TAG members in completing this critical phase for the PSO, commenting: “The diverse thinking and thoughtful contributions of all TAG members have resulted in the development of a Constitution and the appointment of an Executive and Governance Board where joined-up thinking and action will underpin the delivery of ambitious industry transformation and optimal outcomes for all key stakeholders”.

Kent also welcomed Cotton On as the newest Seamless Foundation Member, joining the Sussan Group, Big W, David Jones, Lorna Jane, Rip Curl, R.M. Williams, and THE ICONIC. “Cotton On is a valuable addition to the growing group of brands who want to reduce the clothing that go each year into landfill in Australia and we warmly welcome them on board.”

Michelle Pacey, Cotton On General Manager for Product said: “Guided by our purpose to make a positive difference in people’s lives, Cotton On recognises its responsibility towards circular fashion and is committed to being part of the solution.

“Change starts with all of us, and industry collaboration is a huge part of making the greatest impact. Cotton On’s partnership with Seamless is an important step in the right direction as we work together with other brands to find industry wide sustainable solutions,” Pacey said.

Kent stated that the TAG is set to hand its work over to the new Board of Directors who will continue to establish and operationalise Seamless over the coming months. The new Seamless Board will meet for the first time in November to progress the appointment of an independent Chair, independent Directors, and the CEO.