The UK Government Is Considering A Fast Fashion Tax

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 3 weeks ago | News

Image: inside the Amazon machine. Image source

Last year the British government launched an investigation into the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry, spearheaded by the UK’s parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee. The resulting report examined the fashion industry’s wider impact, particularly honing in on fast fashion retailers like Boohoo, Missguided, ASOS, Amazon and PrettyLittleThing. And now the committee is recommending that Britain charge producers a penny-per-garment fee to fund a £35 million ($64 million) per year national clothing recycling program.

“A million tons of textiles a year are being thrown away and we need to bend the curve of consumption,” said Mary Creagh, the committee’s chairwoman. “We are urging consumers to buy less, to repair and reuse more before they recycle as well.”

In addition to the penny-per-garment fee and other incentives that would serve to promote recycling, the parliamentary report also honed in on labour standards throughout the fashion industry supply chain. With this in mind, the Environmental Audit Committing is also calling for the government to tighten supply chain transparency rules and make it easier for consumers to understand who actually made their clothing and under what conditions.

If brought into effect, these changes could have a major impact on the fashion industry worldwide and it is great to see governments finally stepping in to enact positive change in this field. As Fashion Revolution’s Australian coordinator Melinda Tually points out, “Governments play a really big role in these issues. People don’t tend to focus on the government’s responsibility, but they have a duty to protect their citizens and uphold their rights – which is often not done.”

Here's hoping, then, that in the wake of these UK recommendations, the Australian government will also consider taking similar steps. “Fortunately Australia has just passed the Modern Slavery Act requiring entities of a certain size to report on slavery and forced labour risks in their supply chains,” Tually explains. “There was a very successful two-year advocacy effort by all of civil society and big business, as well as MPs on both sides to achieve this.”

So in terms of encouraging more governments to take action, then, she believes that we need to extend the voice we have with brands and use this voice with governments as well, lobbying for new changes and holding them accountable for all of their commitments.

Via Fortune

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