Textile Manufacturing sector receives $4m backing from Victorian gov’t

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Image credit: Ethical Clothing Australia's Facebook

The Victorian Government is supporting the clothing manufacturing sector through Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) in a push to grow and support its workers. 

Ethical Clothing Australia accredits textile, apparel, and footwear businesses to guarantee exacting requirements are met, such as paying employees fairly and ensuring safe working conditions.

In a news release, the government revealed that the Victorian Budget 2023/24 included a $4 million investment to allow Ethical Clothing Australia to accredit and monitor more firms, as well as to provide new instructional materials to guarantee worker safety. 

According to the government, a company’s production activities are audited from design to dispatch in order to achieve certification.

Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll paid a visit to social venture Clothing the Gaps to observe how Ethical Clothing Australia is assisting its co-founders, Gunditjmara women Laura Thompson and Sarah Sheridan.

Clothing the Gaps, based in Brunswick, is a fashion label that honours Aboriginal people and culture through its designs and products, generating meaningful merchandise. 

The retail and distribution area of the organisation is a centre of Indigenous employment, giving vital job opportunities and supporting people’s careers and ambitions.

The government said it is one of more than 125 businesses approved by Ethical Clothing Australia, along with Assembled Threads and the Arc Clothing Co.

“By backing Ethical Clothing Australia, we’re supporting fair and safer conditions for our textile industry and support workers,” Minister Carroll said. 

Meanwhile, Ethical Clothing Australia National Manager Rachel Reilly remarked that the funding increase will not only allow ECA to continue to develop the accreditation program in Victoria. 

“This funding boost will not only enable ECA to continue to expand the accreditation program in Victoria to protect, uphold and safeguard the rights of Victorian garment workers, but will provide the opportunity to elevate and amplify the voices of business owners, particularly women, of a female-dominated industry,” Reilly explained. 

Through Local Jobs First and the Fair Jobs Code, the Labor Government continues to assist local employees.

For more information about Ethical Clothing Australia, you may visit ethicalclothingaustralia.org.au.