Textiles 2030: Fashion giants pledge to halve climate impacts

A string of big-name fashion brands including Primark, JD Sports and ASOS have joined a new WRAP initiative mandating them to halve emissions by 2030, with a longer-term view to reaching net-zero.

Globally, the fashion sector accounts for 8-10% of annual emissions and results in a bin lorry of waste every second

Globally, the fashion sector accounts for 8-10% of annual emissions and results in a bin lorry of waste every second

Called Textiles 2030, the initiative is a spin-off from WRAP’s existing UK Sustainable Textiles Action Plan and provides brands with updated environmental targets in light of new climate science.

Targets are namely halving emissions, against a baseline consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C trajectory, by 2030, with a view to reaching net-zero by 2050 at the latest; and reducing the aggregate water footprint of new products sold by 30%. Signatories will also have to become more circular, with circular economy initiatives going beyond one-off products or collections.

To this latter point, signatories will be supported to collaborate to change product design, material specifications and business models. They will need to improve the including durability, recyclability and use of recycled content across their product portfolios, while also minimising upstream waste. They will also be supported to pilot and scale reuse models.

More than 60 organisations have already joined the initiative. Among them are more than a dozen major fashion brands and retailers: Asos, Boohoo, Dunelm, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer (M&S), New Look, Primark, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ted Baker, JD Sports, Asda, BAM, Next, Boohoo Group, Pep&Co and GymShark.

Some of these retailers have previously faced criticism for their approach to environmental issues. Boohoo Group for example, was asked to give evidence for the Environmental Audit Committee’s original inquiry on ‘fixing fashion’, and was subsequently judged to be taking insufficient action. Other brands have faced fire from organisations like Fashion Revolution and Clean Clothes Campaign, over their 'fast fashion' models and supply chain transparency. 

Also taking part in Textiles 2030 are reuse and recycling platforms for textiles, clothing, shoes and accessories, as well as suppliers and trade associations. On the former, members include Thrift+, Worn Again and charities like Cancer Research UK and the Salvation Army.

Baroness Young, who is supporting the initiative, said: “We urgently need to protect the planet from the damaging, unsustainable impact of the way we produce and consume clothing and textiles.

“Innovation, creativity and commitment, underpinned by collaboration, is essential if we are to be successful. By working together, businesses across the UK can take the critical steps needed to transform business practices in the sector for good and achieve our climate goals. With WRAP’s expertise in delivering initiatives such as Textiles 2030, and with the sector’s knowledge and expertise I am excited by the impact we can achieve together.”

Recent research from WRAP revealed that more than half (55%) of UK shoppers class the fashion industry’s negative impact on the environment as “severe”, with the majority having altered buying decisions with sustainability in mind since the start of 2020.

Fashion Revolution Week

The news about Textiles 2030 comes as Fashion Revolution Week comes to a close.

Hosted annually by Fashion Revolution, the event serves as a reminder of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 and the urgent need to ensure that the fashion industry becomes more transparent, while improving outcomes for people and the planet.

To mark the occasion, edie has published a special episode of the Sustainable Business Covered Podcast, featuring interviews with four SMEs striving to shake up the sustainable fashion conversation. Listen here to hear from experts at the firms, namely HURR Collective, Birdsong London, Third Mind and VivoBarefoot.

Sarah George



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