Iconic Australian brand Country Road has announced the launch of the Country Road Climate Fund, investing $1.5million in grant funding to projects driving climate solutions in the Australian fashion industry over the next three years.
Launching today, the fund aims to help accelerate and incubate projects, programs, initiatives or products across the Australian fashion industry that need funding to execute their solutions. The annual grants program will allocate up to $500,000 in the first year. Country Road recognises that fashion directly contributes to the climate crisis. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlights that without immediate change, we are about to miss the opportunity to “secure a liveable and sustainable future for
all”. While there are many existing and innovative climate fashion solutions, many of these solutions lack the finance to be developed or deployed across the fashion industry. The aim of the Country Road Climate Fund is to bridge this financing gap by investing in, incubating and accelerating climate solutions in the Australian fashion industry.
Elle Roseby, Managing Director of Country Road, said “The fashion industry has a key role to play in addressing climate change, and shaping a positive future.” Country Road is on its own journey to be a world-leading responsible lifestyle retailer. We have a science based climate target, with a goal to reach net zero by 2040, and by 2030 we aim to have all our Australian and New Zealand stores, as well as our head office and distribution centre supporting renewable energy.”
“The Country Road Climate Fund was created as part of our responsible business journey which strives to drive positive change across climate, nature, and community within its own operations, and also through building positive outcomes in our value chain and beyond.”
Renowned sustainability leader Dr. Helen Crowley and Managing Director at Pollination is a project advisor on the Climate Fund and is part of the assessment committee that believes the Fund will help propel the Australian fashion industry further into its sustainability journey.
“What makes the Country Road Climate Fund so exciting is the recognition of the Australian fashion sector’s impact on climate change. It requires pursuing and supporting multiple approaches simultaneously. This is exactly what Country Road is doing with its new fund
that focuses on protecting and restoring biodiversity, supporting Indigenous Peoples and innovating around business models and products.”
Country Road’s primary mandate is to invest in projects with a positive climate impact that directly and indirectly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These could include projects that improve energy efficiency in the production of textiles or projects that provide consumers with accurate data on the emissions intensity of different fashion items, encouraging more sustainable fashion choices.
The Climate Fund acknowledges that climate outcomes can be achieved through nature-based solutions, the circular economy, innovative solutions or First Nations-led practices. Recognising this, the fund is also targeting projects which align with one or more
of these sub-themes: biodiversity conservation to protect and restore natural habitats, the circular economy to reimage the textile lifecycle, unique and disruptive technologies shifting the face of fashion and projects or partnerships led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations.
Application deadline is Thursday 1 December with grant recipients announced in April 2023. In the interest of supporting long-term, sustainable impact, there may be the option for successful grant recipients to renew their funding in subsequent years for multi-year
The Climate Fund is part of Country Road’s existing responsible business journey which includes partnerships with Landcare Australia to restore Australian cotton farmlands, Oritain to scientifically verify fibre origin, the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation to support
emerging First Nations artists and creatives, and Red Cross to help divert waste from landfill while raising funds for local communities.
Visit country road.com.au/climatefund for more information