Sydney, Australia: Meet the changemaker behind the first Australian Circular Fashion Conference on a mission to change how businesses think and operate in the fashion industry. A textile designer and responsible fashion advisor, Camille Reed has extensive experience in the fashion industry and a strong focus on textile recycling and sustainability in our local industry.
Over the past 10 years, Reed has trained as a traditional womenswear textile designer which led to the foundations of her freelance textile design studio BY MILLI. She has produced unique textile designs for some of Australia’s recognisable retail brands and international high street brands such as Jacqui E, Forever New, Thurley, Marcs, Seed Femme, Topshop, Lipsy, Missguided and Parker NY. Working with these big fashion labels propelled Reed to explore, learn and understand the complexities of the industry from waste, textile use, recycling and manufacturing practices. The focus on sustainability was a natural outcome of these experiences.
Last year the fashion entrepreneur’s focus shifted to successfully building the country’s first-ever industry event with a primary focus on sustainability. The conference aims to provide Australian fashion businesses with the tools and resources they need to move towards a circular model and away from outdated linear manufacturing methods.
EWP: What is Australian Circular Fashion?
Camille Reed: The concept arose from the term circular economy. The meaning behind circular is important to understanding the concept, everything else in the world basically comes full circle so why shouldn’t the products, apparel and technology in our lives also come full circle? Like the natural environment, every element has a purpose that eventually comes back to the source from where it came. The beauty of the event is working with Australia’s most knowledgeable in this space, for example, Textile Training, Ethical Fields, Clara Vuletich, Edge Environment, Textile Recyclers Australia, Vivify Textiles, Shred X, Lisa Heinze, The Textile Hub, Australian Fashion Council, Life Cycles to name a few.
EWP: What is the history of Australian Circular Fashion and how did you become involved?
CR: The history behind building Australian Circular Fashion and the conference have been a series of moments in time as I’ve always been aware of the necessity to recycle, and how, as an individual, I impact the environment. Fashion was the next step given it’s in my blood, fashion is a passion and has been for as long as I can remember. There has never been a better time in our sector to embrace innovation for market growth, strengthen longevity against international companies and build more responsible, economically viable businesses. After starting Australian Circular Fashion I’ve been pulled into a bigger world filled with truly clever, fun and exciting people.
EWP: What are you hoping to achieve through the upcoming Australian Circular Fashion Conference event?
CR: As many realise through various discussions and through the beginning of formulating any change, no such thing can be achieved quickly. This is a 5-10 year process of evolving our industry to best suit our cultural market, pivot accordingly as technology is set to go gangbusters in the next couple of years. The biggest learning from the conference will be the ability for attendees to formulate real-time outcomes through their honest discussions and conversations with the experts in the room. We’re looking to achieve the delivering steps and tangible learnings from the day with the intent that businesses will seriously do something about their environmental and corporate social responsibility commitments.
EWP: Will the Conference also focus on the ethics of workers as part of the sustainable solution?
CR: Yes there will be a touch point linked back to ethics, several of our experts have had extensive research and experience in understanding the importance of ethics within the environmentally-friendly supply chain. Fortunately, there is much more information accessible in the general sense, especially with strong campaigns like Oxfam’s ‘What She Makes’ launch last November. We have to be realistic that to create a safe, humane working culture on one end of the apparel production phase it must mimic the same values when materials are being sourced, processed and produced before garment workers come into play. It is very much a holistic approach to view both sides of production as being equally responsible.
Support the Circular Fashion Cause
Australian fashion business leaders and prominent retail companies are encouraged to become involved in this initiative. The conference is a call to action to transform the industry and embrace sustainable business models. Brands can be part of the change simply by asking questions and seeking better answers. As fashion businesses implement sustainable practices and move forward in this space, they become inspiring case studies of responsible fashion and positive values. Brands that wish to remain competitive in the local and global marketplace are encouraged to attend.
Want to learn more about this event? Read this post.
Industry members can purchase tickets using any of the links below. Use our code EWP-ACFC for a 10% discount!
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