Leading ANZ outdoor brand, Kathmandu has announced its commitment to circularity through several new initiatives being trialled in Victoria, one backed by a grant from Sustainability Victoria.

An ANZ first of its kind pilot program, Kathman-REDU, takes products that would otherwise be unsellable, and cleans, repairs and refurbishes them to be sold in store.

The program launches in two Melbourne Kathmandu stores (Richmond and Galleria), with the intention to scale over time. Kathman-REDU is backed by a grant from Sustainability Victoria’s Innovation Fund, via the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre (CEBIC). This is the first time the Victorian State Government has offered grants focused on textiles as a priority material to pilot circular programs.

Sustainability Victoria interim CEO, Matt Genever said, “Renewal and resale of damaged or unwanted clothing is a challenge the apparel industry must overcome globally. We’re proud to support innovative industry-leading solutions here in Victoria and look forward to seeing the program scale in time.”

Kathmandu also recently launched a partnership with Upparel in 24 stores across Melbourne. Designated Upparel ‘bins’ are now in store, with customers invited to drop their old, used or faulty Kathmandu gear so that they will be reused or repurposed, to avoid ending up in landfill. A portion of items from this initiative will be returned to retail as a part of Kathman-REDU.

KMD Brand chief ESG officer, Frances Blundell said, “Circularity is a core focus area of our ESG strategy at KMD Brands and Kathmandu. We’re trialling several initiatives in Victoria to determine customer interest and finesse our delivery of these programs. We’re fortunate to have the backing of Sustainability Victoria to explore this new way to repurpose what would otherwise become textile waste.”