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UK MPs urges government to charge retailers a penny per clothing for tackling fast fashion

Retails in the UK should be charged a penny per clothing to fund better clothing collection and recycling in a bid to end the era of fast fashion, a cross-party group of MPs has proposed.

UK MPs charge retailers a penny
Figure: Retails in the UK should be charged a penny per clothing to fund better clothing collection and recycling.

And the MP’s urged the government to force fashion manufacturers to pay more towards collecting and recycling the waste they create.

Annually the fashion industry is said to be worth £28bn to the UK economy – but it said that if the fashion industry continued to operate under its current model then, by 2050, it could use more than 26% of the carbon budget allocated for keeping within reach of the 2°C average global warming limit.

Because of fast-changing trends and low prices a significant increase in clothing purchases is happening. As a result, the rate of discarding, with 1.13 million tons of clothing purchased in the UK in 2016, a 200,000 increase in four years.

The clothing industry consumes vast volumes of fresh water and creates chemical and plastic pollution. Manmade fibers are found in the deep ocean, the North Pole are few to be named.

Consumer spending on clothing in the UK
Figure: Consumer spending on clothing in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2005 to 2017 (in million GBP)*. Source: www.statista.com

The above statistic shows total consumer spending on clothing in the UK from 2005 to 2017. In 2017, consumer spending amounted to slightly less than 59.47 billion British pounds.

The Environmental Audit Committee said an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme for textiles can raise £35 million for better clothing collection and sorting, which in turn could create new “green” jobs.

Their report entitled ‘Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption and Sustainability’ also recommended retailers with a turnover of more than £36 million be made to comply with environmental targets, as the voluntary approach to improving sustainability is “failing” with just 11 fashion retailers signed up to an agreement to reduce their water, waste and carbon footprints.

The committee said big retailers should be obliged by ministers to comply with high standards on the manufacture and recycling of clothing.

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