The report published in February by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee called on the Government to end the era of throwaway fashion through wide-ranging recommendations covering environmental and labour market practices.
The report recommended a new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme to reduce textile waste with a one penny charge per garment on producers, a ban on incinerating or landfilling unsold stock that can be reused or recycled and mandatory environmental targets for fashion retailers with a turnover above £36 million.
It also said that the fashion industry must come together to set out their blueprint for a net zero emissions world, reducing their carbon consumption back to 1990 levels and reward fashion companies that design products with lower environmental impacts and penalise those that do not.
Environmental Audit Committee Chair Mary Creagh MP said:
“Fashion producers should be forced to clear up the mountains of waste they create. The Government has rejected our call, demonstrating that it is content to tolerate practices that trash the environment and exploit workers despite having just committed to net zero emission targets.
“The Government is out of step with the public who are shocked by the fact that we are sending 300,000 tonnes of clothes a year to incineration or landfill. Ministers have failed to recognise that urgent action must be taken to change the fast fashion business model which produces cheap clothes that cost the earth.”