Australian fabric signage display manufacturer AFI Branding has launched a sustainability initiative, in what it says is the first of its kind in the Australian signage industry.
In partnership with fashion technology platform and marketplace for recycled textiles company, BlockTexx, the initiative involves a fabric takeback scheme where all fabric printed by AFI Branding can directly be returned for recycling.
AFI Branding invites the return of printed fabrics to its headquarters in Carrum Downs, Victoria, where it will be sorted and separated and provided to BlockTexx for repurposing, all within Australia.
Once the fabric is returned to AFI Branding’s headquarters, it gets sorted, separated and stored.
The naked fabric will then be transported to BlockTexx’s textile waste recycling centre from January 2020.
BlockTexx is expected to implement its S.O.F.T. process, where it creates two recycled materials from the fabric separation – rPET for use in textiles, packaging, food containers, bottles and building products, and powdered cellulose for use in textiles, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food products.
Through the program, AFI and BlockTexx aim to divert 100 tonnes of fabric from retail in the first year alone.
AFI Branding managing director Glenn Watson said the opportunity enables the company to play a vital role in sustainability.
“At AFI Branding, we print over 15,000m2 of fabric per month. We recognise that we have an important role to play in sustainability,” he said.
“After supplying the signage for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year, we were able to recycle many components but not all within Australia. We wanted to change this. We’ve spent a long time researching a solution and we are excited to have created this initiative alongside BlockTexx.”
The company is confident the scheme will make a significant difference to customers and to Australian landfill.
“With AFI’s clients’ participation we estimate we can divert over 100 tonnes per year rising to 300 tonnes in year three,” Watson added.
BlockTexx co-founder Adrian Jones said textile waste in Australia is beginning to gain the recognition it needs from government, industry bodies and forward-thinking companies like AFI Branding.
“Stakeholder collaboration is key to achieving commercial scale impact and making a real difference in diverting textile waste from landfill,” Jones said.
“We will begin processing in January 2020, and it is our goal to divert 35,000 tonnes of textile waste from landfill each year. This partnership is a big step towards achieving this goal.”
AFI Branding supplies a range of industries within Australia including retail, events and exhibitions and Mimco, Best and Less, and Myer are amongst some of its clients.
AFI Branding welcomed Mimco as the first retailer to join the initiative. Mimco will commence returning fabric next month.
Mimco VM production manager Brad Poett said the move is a step towards its goal of promoting a good business journey through sustainable processes.
“Mimco has proudly been using AFI’s ReFrame system for many years now. We are proud to have worked with AFI Branding through the formative stages of this program. We are so happy that the recycling process will now be available locally and to more clients of AFI,” Poett said.
Comment below to have your say on this story.
If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at [email protected]
Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter