Fashion Roundtable, Our Secretariat’s Submission To The EAC.
The Environmental Audit Committee has asked for submissions to their Sustainability In The Fashion Industry Inquiry. The Inquiry “investigates the social and environmental impact of disposable ‘fast fashion’ and the wider clothing industry. The inquiry examines the carbon, resource use and water footprint of clothing throughout its lifecycle. It will look at how clothes can be recycled, and waste and pollution reduced.” To read Fashion Roundtable‘s written submission, please click on the link here.
The Chair of the EAC Mary Creagh MP has written to the chief executives of the 10 leading UK fashion retailers to find out the environmental and social impact of the clothes and shoes they sell. Environmental Audit Committee Chair Mary Creagh MP said: “The way we design, produce and discard our clothes has a huge impact on our planet. Fashion and footwear retailers have a responsibility to minimise their environmental footprint and make sure the workers in their supply chains are paid a living wage. We want to hear what they are doing to make their industry more sustainable.”
Clothing production contributes to climate change, and when clothes are washed they release microplastic fibres, which make their way into the ocean. Unwanted and outdated clothing end up in landfill, while some charities have complained that second-hand clothes are exported and dumped on overseas markets.
Demand for fast fashion fuelling need for quick turn-arounds in the supply chain Although there has been a renewed interest in recent years in clothing made in Britain, there are concerns that the demand for fast fashion is fuelling the need for quick turn-arounds in the supply chain, leading to poor working conditions in UK garment factories. Fashion retailers are being asked about their environmental footprint to inform the Committee’s recommendations to Government on how to solve these problems. Among the questions fashion retailers are being asked to respond to:
whether they pay the living wage to garment workers and how they ensure child labour is not used in their supply chains; whether they use recycled materials; how long clothes are kept and how they encourage recycling; whether they incinerate unsold or returned stock; what steps they are taking to reduce the risk of microplastics contaminating the ocean; and what other steps they are taking to reduce the environmental impact of their clothing ranges and how they audit success. The companies the Environmental Audit Committee has written to are: Marks and Spencer Group, Primark Stores, Next Retail, Arcadia Group, Asda, Tk Maxx and HomeSense, Tesco, JD Sports Fashion, Debenhams, Sports Direct International.