• Fashion

eBay Australia’s Circular Fashion Fund winners

3 innovators in fashion share $200,000 prize 

A Melbourne-based company innovating textile waste recycling in Australia, has been awarded eBay Australia’s Circular Fashion Fund’s first prize of $100,000. 

Co-founded by Guy Dempster, Dempstah is a design practice that recycles Australian textile waste into spun yarn in collaboration with a network of international and local textile mills. 

“The fund will go towards helping us establish a micro mill in North West Tasmania, which will allow us to house and operate fibre recovery machinery and develop greater insight into this milling process,’’ says Guy.

“Our ultimate mission is to establish greater waste traceability and innovate fibre recovery locally in Australia. We’re thankful for the opportunity to find more mentors with experience in small-medium scale industrial domestic manufacturing.”

RCYCL, a direct to consumer clothing recycling company, and The Very Good Bra, creators of the world’s first 100 per cent compostable bra were the recipients of the runner’s up prize each receiving $50,000.

The average Australian buys 56 items of new clothing a year, which is contributing to the 200,000 tonnes of clothing that ends up in landfill each year. eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund was established to help scale and develop the circular fashion economy by supporting innovation and aligning with the fashion industry’s goals to achieve circularity by 2030. 

 eBay Australia’s Fashion Lead, Anne-Marie Cheney, says: “Circularity is the future of the fashion industry and we all have a part to play in making that transition. Initiatives like eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund are an important step towards achieving that goal, and we’re incredibly proud to have launched it in Australia this year. We know the businesses awarded today will drive positive change in the fashion industry.” 

Marianne Perkovic, Chair of the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) Board, says: “It’s incredibly inspiring to see the creativity and innovation across 2024 eBay Circular Fashion Fund Finalists. Along with government support and industry collaboration, programs like this are essential to expedite our efforts towards our goal of a circular economy by 2030 and net zero by 2050.”

 Participants were evaluated based on three criteria: innovation, circularity and business viability/scalability. Selected businesses showcased new or improved products or processes and offered creative strategies to address circularity in fashion. They also demonstrated scalability and a track record of success, indicating their ability to effectively utilise the funding.

In addition to the funding received, the three recipients will enter into a three-month program of mentoring, networking and workshops to learn how to market and scale their business.

 eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund is a global initiative that began in the UK in 2022. Over the next three years, eBay will continue to run the Fund with the goal of forming an international alumni of circular fashion businesses.




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