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February, 2024

eBay Australia and Australian Fashion Council award $100,000 to Dempstah in Circular Fashion Fund

eBay Australia, in collaboration with the Australian Fashion Council (AFC), has announced Dempstah as the winner of the 2024 Circular Fashion Fund.

The design practice, which recycles Australian textile waste into spun yarn, will receive a prize fund of $100,000. Runners-up RCYCL and The Very Good Bra will each receive $50,000. The announcement was made at eBay’s office with the Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, present.

The Circular Fashion Fund was established to support the development of the circular fashion economy and align with the industry’s goals to achieve circularity by 2030. Seven finalists were shortlisted and invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts. After the pitch, Dempstah, RCYCL, and The Very Good Bra were selected as the funding recipients.

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.

“At eBay, our purpose is to provide economic opportunity for all, and we have a proud history of helping businesses grow through various grants globally. 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,” said eBay Australia’s Fashion Lead, Anne-Marie Cheney.

Dempstah is a design practice that recycles Australian textile waste into spun yarn. RCYCL provides a direct-to-consumer satchel that allows people to recycle their used clothing. The Very Good Bra is the brand behind the world’s first 100% compostable botanically circular bra.

“We’re grateful to eBay and the Australian Fashion Council, who are actively investing and driving circularity in the fashion industry. The Fund will go towards establishing 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. We’re thankful for the opportunity to find more mentors with experience in small-medium scale industrial domestic manufacturing,” said Guy Dempster, Founder of Dempstah.

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 plans to continue running the Fund with the goal of forming an international alumni of circular fashion businesses.

“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,” said Chair of the AFC Board, Marianne Perkovic.