Fashionista and Sydneysider Natalie Huuskes says there always seems to be a good reason to buy new clothes.
'It feels good to shop. That jacket is discounted. A new event calls for something fresh. My old pair of pants have worn thin. Boredom. Still looking for that perfect LBD. A new trend beckons. Time to refresh the wardrobe.'
The 29-year-old marketing professional has loved shopping since she was a little girl, but it wasn't until she realised the true cost of her passion for fashion that she changed her ways.
"I have been known to just buy because I felt bored and thought I needed something," Ms Huuskes tells AAP.
"That's something I've changed over time."
The fashion industry's monumental contribution to landfill has come under fire ever since the ABC's War on Waste in 2017 revealed Australians throw up 6000 kilograms of fashion and textile waste every 10 minutes.
While Surry Hills marketer Ms Huuskes has taken her love for fashion to vintage and local stores, a new industry body has taken the fight straight to the source.
The Australian Circular Textile Association has proposed a national textile take-back scheme in a bid to address the fast fashion waste crisis head on.
ACTA, which will officially launch in Melbourne at the Australian Circular Fashion Conference on Thursday, says the retail sector should embrace its plan before their hand is forced by governments and consumers.
"This is an adapt or die situation," says founder Camille Reed.
Ms Reed, a former textile designer living in Sydney, says she was shocked into action while working at a major fashion brand Forever New and discovering the volume of textile waste produced.
"It's one of those moments where you grab onto something and you don't let go," she tells AAP.
Despite developing a sustainability plan and taking it to the company, only a few people could see the opportunity for change, with Ms Reed believing "it was too forward, too soon".
Instead, the designer continued to work behind the scenes and held the first Australian Circular Fashion Conference last year to get the conversation started, before creating the national take-back scheme.
Australian shoppers would drop off clothing at collection points in various locations, including charities and shopping centres, after which the stock would be taken to a recycling facility.
Ms Reed hopes to overcome one of the biggest challenges to recycling clothing by opening a factory in Australia, with a potential facility being scouted in Queensland, to assess the fabric content and transform it into recycled clothing or plastic pellets that can be sold off-shore and transformed into new plastic products.
The pellets could be used for insulation, packaging, roads and other materials.
"We don't have to close the loop in the traditional sense, to turn fabric back into fabric," she says.
"We can look to treat the materials and turn it into a new commodity or resource at the other end."
Companies would benefit by accruing new customers and selling what was once seen as a waste product.
While some retailers have taken steps in the right direction, such as H&M's campaign which allows consumers to drop off unwanted clothes for recycling, there is a long road ahead before textile waste is truly minimised, Ms Reed said.
ACTA's proposed scheme has been welcomed by Australian charities, who spend $13 million on waste management, sending 60,000 tonnes of unusable donations to landfill every year, according to the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations.
NACRO CEO Omer Soker says charity shops have been bearing the brunt of some dumping, although they welcomed donations in order to fundraise and extend the life of products.
"We're at a tipping point with Australian fashion," he told AAP.
"Australians are starting to think about their consumption habits, it's moving from the fringe to mainstream."
Salvos Stores CEO Matt Davis said the charity supported a national textile take-back scheme and would play a role in its development.
"The ultimate goal would be for Australians to be able to return unwanted items in both charity and retail stores anywhere around the country, knowing that together we are all creating positive social and environmental impact," he said.