eBay Australia announces Dempstah winner of the 2024 Circular Fashion Fund

Press Release

22 February 2024, Australia: Today, eBay Australia, with support from the Australian Fashion Council, has proudly announced Dempstah as the recipient of eBay’s 2024 Circular Fashion Fund winner, marking a positive step towards advancing circularity in the fashion industry. The innovative business, Dempstah, has been selected to receive the leading prize fund of $100,000 AUD, while the runners-up, RCYCL and The Very Good Bra, have been awarded $50,000 AUD each to support their circular business solutions.

With every Australian buying 56 items of new clothing a year1 and throwing away 200,000 tonnes into landfill each year2, eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund was established to help scale and develop the circular fashion economy by supporting innovation and aligning with the fashion industry’s goals to achieve circularity by 2030.

A shortlist of seven finalists were invited to pitch their ideas to the judges, who selected the three overall funding recipients: Dempstah, RCYCL and The Very Good Bra, after pitching their business ideas to a judging panel of industry experts. The winner was announced at eBay’s office with the Federal Minister for the Environment and Water, The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, in attendance.

eBay Australia’s Fashion Lead, Anne-Marie Cheney, said: “At eBay, our purpose is to provide economic opportunity for all, and we have a proud history of helping businesses grow through various grants globally.

“Circularity is the future of the fashion industry and we all have a part to play in making that transition. Initiatives like eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund are an important step towards achieving that goal, and we’re incredibly proud to have launched it in Australia this year. We know the businesses awarded today will drive positive change in the fashion industry.”

More about the winners


  • After spending over a decade studying and working in fashion and textiles all around the world, the Designer and Founder of Dempstah, Guy Dempster, knew that the current approach to textile production and consumption needed to change.
  • Dempstah is a design practice that recycles Australian textile waste into spun yarn in collaboration with a network of international and local textile mills. Their mission is to ensure waste traceability and establish fibre recovery facilities locally in Australia by establishing a mill in North West Tasmania. Their current product offering includes spun yarn suitable for knitwear production and recovered fibre, which can be used as an alternative to traditional synthetic fibre fill-in garments, homewares and furniture. Dempstah recently collaborated with the Salvos and the City of Sydney to take post-consumer waste from their stores and transform 500kgs (half a metric tonne) into 5ply cotton and wool blend yarn.


  • Belinda Paul, Founder of RCYCL, was struck with tragedy when she was evacuated from her home during the summer bushfires 2019/2020 and then was hit by the pandemic. RCYCL was born because she wanted to do something to overcome the daunting thoughts of global warming and world pollution.
  • With 200,000 tonnes of clothing going to landfills each year2, RCYCL provides a direct-to-consumer satchel that allows people to easily recycle their used clothing at the end of its life cycle. Clothing items are sent to a textile recycling partner to process at their partner Indian Mill to make new yarn or carpet underlay, depending on the fibre composition. The service creates an immediate impact on the environment while contributing to a circular economy.

The Very Good Bra:

  • After going through breast cancer treatment and struggling to find good wire-free bras, Stephanie Devine, Founder of The Very Good Bra, was determined to create a plastic-free bra. This led to her creating The Very Good Bra, the brand behind the world's first 100% compostable botanically circular bra that breaks down in three to six months in compost or eight weeks in a worm farm.
  • The Very Good Bra set out to innovate new types of undergarments that could break down cleanly at the end of their life and thereby avoid landfills. The Very Good Bra uses only natural materials, including sewing thread and labelling, designing out the need for spandex (plastic) at the outset. It has rallied the industry to pioneer a world-first Australian Standard for Textile waste which is in development now.

Guy Dempster, Founder of Dempstah, said: “We’re grateful to eBay and the Australian Fashion Council, who are actively investing and driving circularity in the fashion industry. The Fund will go towards establishing a micro mill in North West Tasmania, which will allow us to house and operate fibre recovery machinery and develop greater insight into this milling process. We’re thankful for the opportunity to find more mentors with experience in small-medium scale industrial domestic manufacturing.”

Marianne Perkovic, Chair of the Australian Fashion Council (AFC) Board, said: “It’s incredibly inspiring to see the creativity and innovation across 2024 eBay Circular Fashion Fund Finalists. Along with government support and industry collaboration, programs like this are essential to expedite our efforts towards our goal of a circular economy by 2030 and net zero by 2050.”

Participants were evaluated based on three criteria: innovation, circularity and business viability/scalability. Selected businesses showcased new or improved products or processes and offered 2 creative strategies to address circularity in fashion. They also demonstrated scalability and a track record of success, indicating their ability to effectively utilise the funding.

In addition to the funding received, the three recipients will enter into a three-month program of mentoring, networking and workshops to learn how to market and scale their business.

eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund is a global initiative that began in the UK in 2022. Over the next three years, eBay will continue to run the Fund with the goal of forming an international alumni of circular fashion businesses, helping to pave the way for a more circular future.

For further information, please contact:
Emily Fookes, Pulse
PH: 0438 854 883 I E:

About eBay:
eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) is a global commerce leader that connects millions of buyers and sellers in more than 190 markets around the world. We exist to enable economic opportunity for individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations of all sizes. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay is one of the world's largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2022, eBay enabled nearly $74B USD of gross merchandise volume. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit

About the Australian Fashion Council:
The Australian Fashion Council (AFC) is a not-for-profit and the peak body for the Australian fashion and textile industry, representing the sector for over 65 years. Members are drawn from across the value chain and range from micro to enterprise businesses, education institutions, state and national industry associations and students. The AFC’s aim is to guide the just transformation of the industry to a socially, environmentally, and economically prosperous circular economy by 2030 and to net zero by 2050. Find out more here: