Finally, a marketplace for surplus textiles.
Circular Sourcing is a platform for selling and buying surplus fabrics and designer deadstock. Built by A.BCH and launched in 2023 the project was supported by Sustainability Victoria alongside our collaborative partners Full Circle Fibres, MTK Australia and The Social Studio, our purpose is to help circulate designer deadstock + surplus materials in Australia. Shop Surplus Fabrics here.
Why we need a marketplace for surplus textiles
As part of its goal to create systems change for a circular economy in fashion, Melbourne circular fashion brand, A.BCH, has launched Circular Sourcing – a marketplace for surplus textiles with the goal of keeping Australian surplus fabrics in use and out of landfill.
A survey conducted by the business in 2022 revealed over 10 million kilograms (conservatively) of so-called deadstock textiles across the country that are unused and destined to be downcycled or become waste. While many of the businesses (ranging from mills to wholesalers to designer brands) holding surplus want to see it used by others, they lack the infrastructure, time and resources to make it work with their main business operations. Likewise micro, small or medium businesses and even home sewers are looking for this kind of material and find it challenging to source.
“These materials are on-shore and are of high quality – a lot of them milled locally. While Circular Sourcing certainly doesn’t solve every textile waste issue, it does provide an important pathway. Keeping materials in use in their highest use-case is simply the right thing to do. Before designers buy more new fabric, they should see if there’s something that already exists that could serve their purpose” says A.BCH and Circular Sourcing founder, Courtney Holm.
Collaboration is key.
Sustainability Victoria supported the project with funding in 2022 as part of the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre’s Innovation Fund. Their support has been instrumental in the design, build and launch of the platform. “We see a lot of potential in highly collaborative projects like Circular Sourcing that provides a solution to support the local textiles industry to grow and embrace circularity in their practice. Transforming from a linear to a circular economy is a process and it’s innovations like these that move us closer to the end goal.” – Emily Adamson, Team Lead, Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre
Collaboration is a key driver of the circular economy and was a major contributor to the project build. Circular Sourcing’s contributing project partners include Meriel Chamberlin of Full Circle Fibres, Stephen Morris-Moody of MTK and Dewi Cooke of The Social Studio alongside the project leads at A.BCH which includes Lily Clatworthy and Courtney Holm.
Other collaborators include:
Peter Allan of Sustainable Resource Use (assistance with grant writing, editing and advice)
The team at Harvey and The Business Pickle (consultation, business case development, research and testing)
The team at Studio Hi Ho (branding)
Lisa O’Sullivan from Words for Things (site copywriting)
Vlad Savin Photography (photography and technical training)
Michelle Nace (campaign photography)
The Good Egg Collective (platform design, UI, UX and development)
All our launch sellers; Full Circle Fibres, Jillian Boustred, LLC Reuse, ANTO fabrics, A.BCH, Harlow, Melbourne Textile Knitting, The Social Studio, Amela by Melanie Grace.
And finally thank you to all our survey responders.
The platform comes at an opportune time, with the announcement of Seamless, Australia’s first national clothing product stewardship scheme in June 2023. The Australian Fashion Council, who led the Consortium to create Seamless, is aiming to make Australian clothing circular and significantly reduce the 200,000 tonnes of clothing that currently goes to Australian landfill each year.
Want to see more? Go behind the scenes and see how we built a surplus textile marketplace here.