Uniform, dress code

The UK government has rejected a number of proposals to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry put forward by MPs.

In February, the committee of MPs put forward 18 recommendations, including a 1p tax of every item of clothing to help fund better fashion recycling practices and projects. However, all 18 proposals were rejected by ministers.

Also among the proposals were a ban on incinerating or landfilling unsold stock which could be reused or recycled, tax rewards for sustainable and responsible fashion companies, and mandatory targets for retailers with a turnover above £36 million.

However, the government said it favoured voluntary schemes rather than compulsory taxes and bans. It pointed to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), which is overseen by the waste watchdog WRAP.

Labour MP Mary Creagh, who chaired the committee, said: “Fashion producers should be forced to clear up the mountains of waste they create.

“The government is content to tolerate practices that trash the environment and exploit workers despite having just committed to net zero emission targets.

“It 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.”

 

A government spokesperson said: “It simply isn’t true to say we are not accepting the committee’s recommendations.

“In our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy we will take forward measures including developing proposals and consulting on extended producer responsibility (EPR) and higher product standards for textiles.

“This would make producers responsible for the full cost of managing and disposing of their products after they’re no longer useful.”