All fashion brands and retailers should pay a 1p tax on every single item of clothing they sell in order to help boost recycling in the industry, MPs have said.
The tax would help fund a £35 million recycling scheme for the fashion industry to help limit its impact on the environment. Experts say fashion is a major contributor to climate change in the form of greenhouse gases, water pollution, air pollution and excess water usage.
Estimates suggest that the industry produces as much greenhouse gases as the global aviation industry. And less than 1% of materials used to produce clothing is recycled to make more.
The Environmental Audit Committee claims 235 million items of clothing were sent to landfill in the UK in 2018. It also says 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions were produced by the global fashion industry in 2015. And it says, in the lifetime of a pair of Levi 501 jeans, nearly 3,800 litres of water would be used.
However, green campaigners have criticised the 1p tax proposal by MPs, saying they do not go far enough. Instead, they believe there should be a much greater focus on encouraging consumers to buy less clothing, recycle and reuse.
Libby Peake, from the think-tank Green Alliance, told BBC News: "One of the areas in which you could make a big difference in terms of your personal climate change impact is by reducing the amount of clothes you buy and keeping them for longer, then donating them to charity shops to keep them in the national wardrobe."
MP Mary Creagh, who chaired the committee, said: "Fashion retailers should be forced to pay for the impact of their clothes when they're thrown away."
She added: "Children should be taught the joy of making and mending clothes in school.
"We've got to help teenagers get an emotional attachment to their clothes instead of just wearing them a couple of times, getting photographed for Instagram and then chucking them away.
"All consumers have got to accept they need to buy fewer clothes - then mend them if they're torn, or rent or share them."