Charitable Recycling Australia has established a credible, realistic and practical accreditation process to provide a standard for the export of second-hand clothing for reuse.
Charities receive 100,000 tonnes of donated garments in wearable condition every year that Australian consumers won’t buy even when they are discounted to $1 each. These wearable garments are exported overseas to be reused in their original form by lower income consumers. The reuse export trade creates millions of jobs in wholesale, retail and repair; mainly for women; aiding poverty reduction and gender equality.
Due to fast fashion consumer preferences generating excess textiles, and the lack of scalable domestic recycling or remanufacturing in Australia, means reuse exports are an important social, environmental and economic activator helping the environment and those in need.
The Clothing Reuse Export Accreditation Scheme provides confidence to government, stakeholders and consumers that the clothes being donated to charities are being managed in a responsible way.
This means that where donated clothes are being exported or provided to a third party, that it is done in an environmentally and socially appropriate manner, and that there are objective checks and balances to show that.
Charitable Recycling Australia wants to help guarantee that charities and their commercial exporters have appropriate processes and agreements in place to ensure the quality and performance of the off-take agreements which exist for wearable clothing donations in export markets.
To facilitate this quality assurance, Charitable Recycling Australia has developed a reuse accreditation scheme for charities that directly or indirectly export second hand clothing. Accreditation is intended to be achieved by meeting and committing to specific procedures which are outlined in the Scheme handbook.
The handbook provides participants and prospective participants with the relevant resources and information to become and remain accredited under the Clothing Reuse Export Accreditation Scheme.
The purpose of the Scheme is to:
- Accredit and assure charitable recyclers export activities
- Accredit individual organisations to an agreed standard
- Not seek to validate a supply chain and final destination
- Be easily understood and implemented by participants of the scheme
The Scheme is designed to raise accountability and standards:
- It is in initial stages of implementation and will develop and grow over time
- Scheme participants are committing to providing evidence and being accountable on their clothing exports
- The Scheme tests the environmental and social management of clothes that are being donated for reuse
The process of accreditation is:
- Via an application that requires parties to comply with set requirements to be accredited and remain accredited under the scheme, through:
- Signed document of understanding between Charitable Recycling Australia and the service provider
- Completion of relevant checklist
- Transparency regarding export practices
- Sharing of relevant documents during audit activities
Accredited Members and Supporters
The following list of Charitable Recycling Australia members and their commercial exporters that have been accredited as completing best practice export activities in the first and second rounds of the Scheme, with effect from 13 February 2023 and 1 July 2023, include:
- Alinea (ParaQuad Industries and Paravin)
- Allround Recycling/reUP
- Cancer Wellness Support
- Good Sammy Enterprises
- Launceston City Mission
- Lifeline Direct
- Lifeline Retail Queensland
- Lifeline Tasmania
- Navarro Enterprises
- Neighbours Aid
- One Ten Enterprises
- Rais Industries
- Recycle Care Australia
- Red Cross
- Salvos Stores
- St Vincent De Paul Society NSW
- St Vincent De Paul Society QLD
- St Vincent De Paul Society Victoria
- Statewide Cleaning Cloths Australia
- King Cotton Australia
- SCR Group
- SAP Impex
Nick Harford of Harford Consulting has been engaged to assist Charitable Recycling Australia’s members and supporters with their applications, and also to develop a 3-year plan to raise the export accreditation to the highest reasonably expected standards possible. Re-accreditations to a higher standard will be conducted annually, commencing in January 2024, and the scheme will further develop beyond this to include the initiation of audits and onsite checks.
All accredited members and supporters will be invited to discuss the 3-year plan and re-accredit in January 2024 both as a continuous improvement process and with the added rigour supporting additional communications on transparency and accountability, to governments and stakeholders.
For more information please contact:
0419 993 234