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Future of fashion industry post-COVID

27 May 2020

Boosting demand for Australian-made fashion and diversifying manufacturing capability to upskill and create new jobs are among the key issues that will be discussed today at a roundtable with the local fashion industry.

Chaired by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews, the roundtable will bring together prominent local fashion designers and brands, industry leaders and academics.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Australian fashion industry, disrupting how they do business and exposing gaps in local supply chains,” Minister Andrews said.

“With retail stores closed and Aussies with few places to go, the fashion industry has faced an unprecedented drop in sales. That’s left local fashion manufacturers and businesses staring down the barrel of an uncertain future.

“Our Government’s range of support for businesses and workers, particularly Job Keeper, has kept many afloat. Now, as we look towards economic recovery, I am absolutely committed to ensuring the local fashion industry is not left behind.

“Now more than ever it’s important we all support Australian-made products where we can because the flow-on effects help keep people in jobs, allow small businesses to become part of previously off-shore supply chains, and open the door for new export markets in the long term.”

The fashion sector is part of the broader Textiles, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) industry which employs over 31,000 Australians in manufacturing jobs.

CEO of the Australian Fashion Council Leila Naja Hibri said, “The AFC’s recent survey of close to 200 business leaders and owners from across the Australian Textile, Clothing and Footwear value chain, highlighted a renewed appetite for re-establishing a strong local manufacturing presence based on upskilling, innovation and enterprise.

“The fashion roundtable is a significant step that demonstrates Minister Andrews’ commitment to working with our sector towards building a foundation that will support a thriving and sustainable future for our industry.”

This is the first in a series of roundtables with the fashion sector to consider how the federal government can best support this important contributor to the Australian economy.

Locally manufactured labels Carla Zampatti, Cue and Nobody Denim are among the brands that will be represented at the roundtable.

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070