TFIA began in the late 1940s when the Textile Council of Australia was formed as an umbrella organisation to provide a focal point for a number of sector-specific associations
At its inception, the Council was set up as an effective lobbying group influencing Government on crucial issues affecting the industry.
Following the release of an IAC Draft Report in 1984, vast changes to the assistance schemes for TCF industries were proposed. A formal merger with the Australian Confederation of Apparel Manufacturers and the Australian Knitting Industries Council resulted in the Textile Council of Australia changing its name to the Textile, Clothing & Footwear Council of Australia.
Other industry bodies which became closely allied through organisational membership of the new Council included Footwear Manufacturers Association of Australia, Carpet Institute of Australia, Australian Wool Processors Council and the now defunct Fashion Industries of Australia, Australian Leather and Suede Clothing Association and the Australian Polyolefin Textiles Association.
The partnership of these individual sectors ensured that the Council truly represented the whole TCF industry and presented effective and influential representation to Government on TCF issues. Throughout its history the TFIA’s integrity and representative voice has been well acknowledged by both government and industry, establishing a strong working relationship with Government, which continues today.
In 1995 the Council, in recognition of the fast growing fashion industry and in order to identify more closely with the new membership base, changed its name to the present Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia.
The TFIA has proactively taken on a broader promotional role, purchasing the Australian Fashion Awards. Now in addition to the Awards, the TFIA provides an industry wide platform for marketing and promoting of members product to export markets and ensuring that all sectors of the industry are networked.
Whilst the Council still takes an active role of representing critical issues to Government, important and growing activities include Export Development, Market Research and Access, Customs and Trade, Training, Business Planning and Development, Marketing and Promotion services.
The TFIA has worked closely with the Australian and New Zealand governments in developing ANZCER, and together with its opposite number in NZ has formed ANZTEX to monitor various aspects of Trans-Tasman trade and the implications for both countries of international trade arrangements.
With the many challenges and opportunities ahead, the TFIA is developing a strong, sustainable vision for the TCF industry. The TFIA is evolving its leadership role to ensure the TCF industry moves into the new millennium as a creative, dynamic and progressive contributor to the Australian economy, and employment.