UK Government Rejects Fast Fashion Sustainability Reform

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

Image: A climate action strike at Parliament Square in London earlier this year. Image source

Just when we thought the UK was leading the charge on responsible fashion, we hear news that the British government has rejected fast fashion sustainability reform. This comes after the government last year launched an investigation into the environmental impact of the fast fashion industry, which was spearheaded by the UK’s parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee.

Honing in on fast fashion retailers like Boohoo and ASOS, the committee made 18 governmental recommendations to improve sustainability and fair labour in the fast fashion industry. These recommendations included introducing a fast fashion tax and requiring firms to contribute towards the clean-up costs for waste garments. All of which they have now rejected.

In a formal response to the report published last week, the government refused to accept any of the committee's recommendations, according to The Independent. Failing to commit to any of the fast fashion reforms, they instead stated that the proposal might be considered by 2025.

EAC chair Mary Creagh accused the government of being “out of step” with the public consciousness. “Fashion producers should be forced to clear up the mountains of waste they create,” she said. “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.”

Creagh went on to say that “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.” She believes that urgent action is now needed to address the fast fashion business model. But the government said in response: “We recognise how crucial it is for the environmental and social impacts to be well managed, particularly in this era of fast fashion. In our response we explain the action already being taken in respect of clothing and outline our [existing] plans for the future.”

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