The Sustainable Clothing Roadmap seeks to tackle some of the thorny issues associated with ‘throw away fashion’.

Organisations involved in the project will not be tied to a single set of actions but all will make changes that will lead to social or environmental improvements.

Key areas to be looked at include traceability in the supply chain, using more sustainable fibres and other materials, reducing waste and increasing recycling.

According to government statistics the British clothing and textiles sector currently produces around 3.1 million tonnes of CO2, 2 million tonnes of waste and 70 million tonnes of waste water per year – with 1.5 million tonnes of unwanted clothing ultimately ending up in landfill.

Announcing the initiative at London Fashion Week, Lord Philip Hunt, Minister for Sustainability said: “This action plan represents a concerted effort from the fashion industry, including top names in the high street and manufacturers, to change the face of fashion.

“Retailers have a big role to play in ensuring fashion is sustainable. We should all be able to walk into a shop and feel that the clothes we buy have been produced without damaging the environment or using poor labour practices, and that we will be able to reuse and recycle them when we no longer want them.

“I’m delighted that so many fashion companies have signed up to the sustainable clothing action plan and I look forward to seeing these actions come to fruition.”

Sam Bond

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