Apical Blog

Apical publishes the facts on charitable recycling

23rd June 2017


Did you know that charitable recycling is the oldest, largest and most coordinated recycling/reuse cohort in Australia, and that there are close to 2,500 charity operated op shops across Australia? and/or that over 1 million tonnes of goods are donated annually to charitable recyclers by way of shop donations, donations bins, home pickups and corporate donations….more than 780,000 tonnes of which are donated directly to charity stores?

In a bid to control the narrative on the charitable recycling sector, we spent many months reviewing and surveying the sector, the results of which can be seen in the following attachment.


Rebirth of Melded Fabrics

16th May 2017

Design,Event initiated and managed by Apical Int.,Recycling / Sustainability,Technology,Uncategorized

A heartening confidence in manufacturing textiles in Australia is good reason for the owners of Melded Products to reinvest and reopen the iconic company.

24 karat textile technology

05th April 2017


Golden undies!

Australian company aussieBum have created the world’s most expensive pair of undies, retailing at an eye-watering AU$14,500. The company had the 24 karat gold yarn developed in Germany and knitted into fabric in Queensland.

Evangeline Agius, Co Owner of the specialist elastane fabric manufacturer Technical Fabric Services (TFS) Australia Pty Ltd, said that knitting the fabric was exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time. “We certainly made sure that there was no waste” said Eva. Research and development and world first developments is an essential part of their business. Knitting gold fibre is one of their most effective examples of make dreams a reality.

aussieBum is the brainchild of Australian Sean Ashby, who founded the company in 2001 and said the idea for the golden underwear came from Australia’s gold mining days. The website can be found at this link: http://www.aussiebum.com/gold.


Photograph copyright Aussiebum – wonderful ingenuity and innovation.

Meeting and tour of Penguin Composites

23rd February 2017

Event initiated and managed by Apical Int.

Penguin is a town on the north-west coast of Tasmania, Australia; one would think an unlikely place for an advanced manufacturing facility. An invitation by Managing Director, van der Woude, encourgaed fellow manufacturers, suppliers and thought leaders of the Australian advanced composites sector to travel to Penguin

From its beginnings as Canoe N Surf manufacturing canoes and kayaks over 40 years ago, John took us on the challenging journey that has seen Penguin Composites build a diverse portfolio of composite products for Australian and global clients, constantly adapting to a changing environment and client requests.

John’s wise words of advice were to be open to a constant cycle of disruption, innovation and change.

…..another event initiated and managed by the Apical team.

Paving the way for FRP reinforced concrete structures

23rd December 2016

Event initiated and managed by Apical Int.

FRP has gained considerable worldwide interest and growing acceptance in the construction industry as internal reinforcement to concrete structures particularly in highly aggressive environments where corrosion of traditional steel reinforcing bar is a major problem. Composites Australia and the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) partnered to provide Australian civil and composite engineers with access to the latest knowledge on an innovative solution to the costly corrosion of concrete infrastructure.

Civil engineers from some of Australia’s major public infrastructure organisations were among the many delegates representing more than 30 organisations who attended the workshop at the Royal Queensland Golf Club and kindly sponsored by Iconmat Australia, suppliers of innovative solutions for the Australian concrete construction industry.

Another event managed by the Apical team.

While many still don’t believe it, John Bull has retired!

23rd December 2016


fter 29 years with The Smith Family much of which as its Export Manager, John Bull is retiring.

John pioneered the export trade in second hand clothing from Australia. He open up markets in obscure destinations including East African countries such as Tanzania and Kenya, Pacific Ocean Islands and the United Arab Emirates.

ABS data in 2016-17 showed Australian exports of “worn clothing and other worn textile articles” was 93,502,966 kilos the value for which was close to A$75 million. Direct exports from charities accounted for two thirds.

Having known John for almost all of those years with the Smith Family, I look forward to continuing the friendship. I know I’ll miss his advice.

Established in 1963, the multi award-winning Smith Family Recycling Operation collects, sorts and sells more than 10 million kilograms of good-quality recycled and new clothing, footwear and accessories each year.
Clothing donations are collected through an extensive network of clothing bins in NSW and the ACT, retailers and collection drives held by schools and businesses. These items are then sold in Smith Family stores in NSW and the ACT or to its overseas partners in regions including Africa, the Pacific Islands and other regions. The surplus revenue generated from these sales locally and from overseas markets helps to offset organisational costs, ensuring that more of the funds received from fundraising activities can be spent on programs benefiting disadvantaged Australian students.

Another great NACRO conference organised by the Apical team

23rd November 2016


The largest and most diverse to date, the NACRO annual conference was held on early in October at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast. Conference delegates soaked up an eclectic program from over 20 presenters, shared experiences with colleagues, made new contacts, strengthened existing relationships, and honed their ideas and the latest knowledge about the charitable recycling sector. Dinner on McClarens Landing on South Stradbroke Island after a comfortable sea voyage on a clear starry night was good for all our souls.

Opened by Tony Roberts, Deputy Director-General, Environmental Policy and Planning in the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection presentations covered a myriad of themes and speakers including Ryan James, researcher and consultant with .id consulting; Steve Dawber, Operations Manager of Lifeline Brisbane ; Daniel Watt and Christopher Cozma, Agile Community Solutions; John Knowles is CEO of Good Samaritan Industries; Greg Howell, Operations Manager Recycling and Logistics with the Launceston City Mission and Andrew Sellick – Head of Environmental Sustainability for Australia Post.

Delegates were amazed to learn that Australia Post delivers 12.6 million letters to 11.3 million addresses across Australia every day.

CEO of the Community Council for Australia, David Crosbie reminded why we do what we do and challenged us to take pride in our missions every day.

Victoria’s Desalination Plant Project

05th August 2016


I was delighted to lead a tour to give technical textile, filtration and composite professionals a look behind the scenes of the Victorian Desalination Plant Project – the largest desalination plant in Australia and the largest reverse osmosis plant in operation globally.

The Silk Road extends to Australia

12th October 2015

Design,Event initiated and managed by Apical Int.,Export,Recycling / Sustainability,Sustainability,Technology,Uncategorized

Thanks to the efforts of the Federation of Asian Professional Textile Associations (FAPTA), the Technical Textiles & Nonwoven Association (a client of Apical International), Deakin University and its Institute for Frontier Materials, the Silk Road is coming to Australia in November 2015!

Opportunities for Australian composite manufacturers in Malaysia Plan

01st June 2015

Event initiated and managed by Apical Int.,Export,Technology

The Australian composites industry trade mission to Malaysia is timely given the country’s focus on realising the Eleventh Malaysia Plan, 2016-2020, and the importance placed on innovation and technology – a nice synergy for Australia’s composites sector and its ability to offer innovative solutions.