eBay Australia has introduced the Circular Fashion Fund, supported by the Australian Fashion Council (AFC). The initiative will offer $200,000 in funding for Australian start-ups specialising in circular fashion solutions. Entries are now open until 10 November 2023.

The Fund aims to bring together emerging technologies and forward-thinking solutions from innovative start-ups that can help change customer behaviours within the fashion industry and advance the circular economy.

eBay will support the winner and two runners-up by providing financial support via the Fund, mentorship, industry networking opportunities and a platform to showcase their circular fashion solutions to a wider audience.

The winners will be chosen by a judging panel of industry experts across fashion, academia, logistics and sustainability. The panel includes KITX founder, Kit Willow, Australian Fashion Council, Danielle Kent, Sendle founder and CEO, James Chin Moody, Liandra founder and creative director, Liandra Gaykamangu, director of UTS and TAFE NSW’s Centre of Excellence in sustainable fashion and textiles, Dr Lisa Lake, The Growth Activists CEO, Rosanna Iacono and eBay Australia head of fashion, Brooke Eichhorn.

A shortlist of six finalists will be invited to pitch their ideas to the judges, who will select the three overall funding recipients. The winner will receive a $100,000 grant, and the two runners-up will each be awarded a $50,000 grant. In addition, the three recipients will enter into a six-week program of mentoring, networking opportunities and workshops. During this program, the winners will learn how to market their concepts to external stakeholders.

eBay’s Brooke Eichhorn (picturd) said, “We understand that eBay can play a role in circular fashion by using our scale and expertise for good. We are committing support to small businesses to drive positive change through innovation in the fashion industry.

“We are proud to announce this year we’ve become patrons of the Australian Fashion Council and are launching the Circular Fashion Fund. These initiatives will help revolutionise how fashion is created, consumed and recycled, making sustainable fashion practices more accessible for everyone.”

The Australian Fashion Council CEO, Leila Naja Hibri added, “To transition to a circular economy by 2030 and Net Zero by 2050, the Australian fashion industry needs to fundamentally transform how clothing is designed, produced, consumed and disposed of.

“For decades, eBay has been leading the charge in recommerce, driving the circular economy through its resale marketplace, in particular for fashion. eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund not only complements but helps accelerate the roadmap for Seamless, the national clothing stewardship scheme, bringing us closer to our goal of achieving clothing circularity in Australia by 2030.”