Profiting from waste: emerging start-ups tackling textile wastes

Companies are looking for innovative solutions to reduce clothing waste while making a profit

Thrift shop image from Unsplash
Thrift shop image from Unsplash

Story Topic

The clothes recycling industry has been growing in recent years, driven by a growing awareness of the environmental impact of textile waste. The industry includes a range of players who help diverting clothing from landfill and finding new uses. How has this emerging industry grown in recent years? What needs to happen? What can we consumers do now?

Traditional in textiles recycle includes charities and non-profit organisations, notably The Salvation Army and Vinnies which accept clothing donations, operate thrift stores and distribute clothing to those in need. For-profit companies have emerged in recent years, such as Textile Recyclers Australia, which operation a network of textile collection bins. Other companies such as Upparel and SCRgroup are offering clothing collection and recycling services to businesses and organisations.

The Australian government has been supporting the clothing recycling industry. Initiatives such as the National Clothing Product Stewardship Scheme aims to reduce textile wastes and increases recycling. There are also government funding to support research and development of new textile recycling technologies.

Existing challenges remain, such as the need to educate consumers about the importance of clothing recycling and develop more efficient recycling methods.


Story Angle & Type

The feature story’s angle will focus on emerging clothing recycling practices. Through background research and interviews with industry players, the feature aims to explore existing textiles recycling methodologies, their scale of impact, barrier, and future development opportunities. The piece will also be educative for everyday consumers to extend the lifecycle of their discarded clothing.

Flow of Clothing in Australia (Clothing Data Report 2022)
Flow of Clothing in Australia (Clothing Data Report 2022)

Preferred Online Publication and Audience

The target audience is everyday consumers, environmental enthusiasts, and business-minded individuals. The preferred online publication includes traditional mainstream platforms such as the Sydney Morning Herald, The AFR and ABC News.


Source of Information


Multimedia and interactivity

The story will incorporate diagrams to illustrate the value chain for clothes recycling, map out the distribution flow of clothes. It will also include data visualisation to indicate the volume of clothing directed to various directions.

Include images slideshows for interview and recycling plant images.

There will be social media sharing links for public circulation. Online comments section will also allow readers to share comments on the topic.


1 Comment

  1. Hi, Jennifer! This is a really interesting proposal, with a clear theme that looks at the emerging clothing recycling industry and focuses on exploring the potential of innovative companies in textile recycling and consumer education. Data reports, press reports, government projects, and a portfolio of textiles add to the story. You made a great effort!

    Some suggestions maybe can help you to write good news:
    Clarify whether the scope of the study is the clothing recycling industry in Australia as a whole or limited to businesses and clothing consumers, based on your title;
    Consider adding some of the environmental impacts of textile waste in recent years to your report;
    Consider whether the industry participants you interview are representative government workers, business managers or individuals.

    Looking forward to your features.

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