Economics was the first order of business at #AAFW 2022
14 May 2022

Australian Fashion™ certification trademark

In a week where Chief Executive Women released a study highlighting Australia’s skills shortage could be solved by unlocking women’s economic participation in the workforce and the AFR’s John Black reported that female professionals are the largest single male or female occupation group. Economics was the first order of business at #AAFW 2022.

AFC Trademark

#AAFW 2022 opened on 9 May with the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) unveiling the first Australian Fashion™ certification trademark. The trademark and campaign to follow in August 2022 is designed to drive demand for Australian brands locally and internationally.

Report – From Farm to Industry

To coincide with unveiling the trademark an Afterpay-sponsored report from Ernst & Young called “Fashion Evolution: From Farm to Industry” was released. It is aimed at securing government investment in the sector. It follows Ernst & Young’s report for the AFC, “From High Fashion to High Vis,” released in May 2021. That report said that the Australian fashion and textiles sector contributes AUD$27.2 billion to the Australian economy, equal to 1.5 percent of GDP and had generated AUD$7.2 billion in export revenue over the previous 12 months, more than double the value of Australia’s wine and beer exports.

The report identified that the sector employs 489,000 Australians (315,000 full-time), greater than the mining, utilities, or the arts and recreation industries, respectively, and equal to 3.8 percent of Australia’s labour market. Seventy-seven percent of the sector’s workforce is comprised of women, almost double the average percentage of women employed in other industries in Australia.

report policy asks

The latest report is based on four key policy asks:

1. Promote the world-first Australian Fashion™ trademark campaign locally and globally to turbo-charge local and export earnings.

2. Build future manufacturing capability, boosting the demand for Australian fashion and textiles, including for cotton and wool fibres and their derivatives.

3. Boost women’s economic security by developing career pathways for women throughout their working life, addressing current and future industry skills gaps.

4. Build a workable and sustainable circular economy across Australia’s clothing, uniforms and textiles supply chain.

Implementing all policy recommendations in full will deliver $10.8 billion in economic gain over 10 years, with the potential to create an additional 86,000 jobs for Australians.

We will have to wait until next year to see if these calls are heeded and the potential economic gains being claimed are achieved.

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The Regtrader

The Australian Financial Review

Chief Executive Women Addressing Australia’s Critical Skill Shortages: Unlocking Women’s Economic Participation Study

Australian Fashion Council Economic contribution of the Australia’s fashion and textiles industry

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