In 2023, we launched a digital sourcing platform for Australia's best deadstock fabrics and quality surplus materials. We're thrilled to launch this pilot venture with the support of Sustainability Victoria, our project partners and our collaborators. Photos by Michelle Nace.
Today we launched the Circular Sourcing platform - a digital marketplace for buying and selling quality Australian surplus fabrics. This is a pivotal next step for our business and is a completely new venture for circular fashion in the local eco-system.
How did we get here?
Circular Sourcing started as a side hustle to A.BCH way back in 2017. It began as a facebook group, where we did call outs to other labels to share the load of high MOQs for circular trims and fabrics. We then made an Etsy store to on-sell our surplus materials to makers and home sewers, a surprisingly popular venture. That prompted us to build our own online store in 2022 which grew into a healthy portion of our overall business. And then, we had an idea. What if we could take this platform and turn it into a marketplace so other designers and mills could also sell THEIR surplus?
The idea had legs. Sustainability Victoria backed it in late 2022 with funding from the Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre, along with project partners Meriel Chamberlin of Full Circle Fibres, Stephen Morris-Moody of MTK and Dewi Cooke of The Social Studio. And it wasn't just us who pulled it off. The initial grant application was edited and refined by our colleague and friend Peter Allan of Sustainable Resource Use. We collaborated with our ethical marketing agency Harvey and The Business Pickle on all sorts of things from project research, to marketing and business case evaluation. We worked with A.BCH go-to designers Studio Hi Ho for the new and improved Circular Sourcing branding and the wonderful Lisa O'Sullivan from Words for Things for our copywriting. Finally, we collaborated with the MOST wonderful team of digital UI designers and developers from The Good Egg Collective - they were the unsung heroes of the entire project, working tireless to execute a sophisticated, user intuitive platform for buyers and sellers (and us!).
Thank you to our launch sellers for being a part of this marketplace from the very beginning; Full Circle Fibres, Jillian Boustred, LLC Reuse, ANTO fabrics, A.BCH, Harlow, Melbourne Textile Knitting, The Social Studio, Amela by Melanie Grace. Thanks for getting the vision and jumping on board so quickly.
We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has been involved to date, and that includes the A.BCH team too, with special mention to our project coordination superstar Lily Clatworthy. We truly love you all and couldn't have done it without you.
Where we are now...
Now, in July 2023, we have a sophisticated pilot platform built, with nearly 1.7 tonnes of fabric listed on day one for re-use by anyone who wants to lower their impact by working with what's already made. It doesn't solve every circular economy dilemma for the fashion and textile space, but it does kickstart something that was lacking in the Australian landscape prior. Now we have a system that is easy to access to circulate materials and keep them in their highest use case. This can incentivise the procurement of better fibres and materials and de-risk innovation in future product development. We have a lot planned to help that happen and features to build in over time. But for now, we have a humble pilot platform ready to go - and we are so very proud of it.
Check out what we've been up to the past 11 months and browse some truly beautiful surplus fabrics now at Circular Sourcing.