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Parliamentary report calls UK Government to support sustainable fashion

Developing sustainable fabrics, boosting fabric recycling and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the UK are some of the key recommendations put forward to the government in a new report.

Produced by Hubbub on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, the report sets out how the sector could follow a ‘more sustainable route’ and the role that government, businesses and consumers might play.

Covid-19 has significantly hit the fashion industry, the report states. It says supply chains have broken, sales have dropped, unsold stock has built, retail outlets have closed and companies have gone out of business.

photo of black clothes on hangers
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

The industry’s carbon dioxide emissions were expected to rise to nearly 2.8 billion tonnes by 2030

It also says consumer habits have shifted and so have attitudes. Before the virus struck, the environmental and social impact of the industry was increasingly under public scrutiny. Fast fashion resulted in £140 million of clothing being sent to landfill every year in the UK.

Charity shop donation rates are high, according to Hubbub, but 300,000 tonnes of clothing still end up in household bins every year, with around 20% of this going to landfill and 80% incinerated.

The industry’s carbon dioxide emissions were expected to rise to nearly 2.8 billion tonnes by 2030.

bird s eye view of landfill during daytime
Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

Fixing fashion

The 2019 House of Commons Environment Audit Select Committee report ‘Fixing Fashion’ found that textile production accounted for 20-35% of microplastics in the oceans as well as toxicity in the land and particles in the air.

The government rejected certain recommendations and felt that the rest were covered, to some degree, in the 2018 Resource and Waste Strategy published 2 months prior to the Fixing Fashion report.

The new APPG report calls for government to reassess their approach and to support the industry as it seeks to rebuild from the impact of COVID-19 in a way that is more just and sustainable.

We must seize this moment and put these recommendations into action by pushing the government to be a global leader, helping to build a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry, both within the UK and globally

climate road landscape people
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

New research released by Hubbub shows that the majority of the public would support such action with 65% of UK residents agreeing that the government should urgently do more to reduce the impact of the fashion industry on the environment.

Launching the report Catherine West MP, chair of the APPG, said: “Coronavirus has exposed deep inequalities and unsustainability in the garment industry.

“Creating a sustainable and ethical future for the fashion industry is an important but complex challenge for government, industry and the public and what is clear is that there is an appetite for this on all sides.

“We must seize this moment and put these recommendations into action by pushing the government to be a global leader, helping to build a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry, both within the UK and globally”.

faceless person showing recycle symbol on mobile phone screen
Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

The APPG report calls for government to:

  • Invest in research and development to create more sustainable fabrics that have a lower environmental and social impact – backed by 66% of the public.
  • Boost investment in UK fabric recycling facilities to create a more circular economy – backed by 73% of the public.
  • Support new start-up businesses operating more green business models – backed by 74% of the public.
  • Invest in skills to bring more clothes manufacturing jobs back to the UK – backed by 72% of the public 
  • Support industry to create clearer information and labelling about the sustainability of clothes helping to educate consumers about their everyday choices and force companies to change their approach – backed by 64% of the public.
rolls of assorted fabrics and textiles and sewing patterns inside tailor atelier
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

65% of people said they’d be happy for fashion to ‘slow down”, i.e. less production of mass-produced cheap clothing in favour of good quality clothing that will last, and a third of 16-24 year olds feel constant pressure to buy new clothes.

Source Circular Online, to read the Full Article Click Here

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