Fast fashion is harming the planet, MPs say

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MPs say the fashion industry is a major source of the greenhouse gases that are overheating the planet.

Discarded clothes are also piling up in landfill sites. and fibre fragments are flowing into the sea when clothes are washed.

The retailers admit more needs to be done, but say they are already working to reduce the impact of their products.

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee says there is a basic problem with an industry that relies on persuading people to throw away good clothes because they are “last year’s colour”.


The MPs have written to the UK’s top fashion bosses asking how they can maintain the ’28bn benefit their industry brings to the UK economy, while reducing the environmental harm.

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Fast fashion is harming the planet, MPs say


They believe swift action is essential, because if current clothes consumption continues “…they will account for more than a quarter of our total impact on climate change by 2050”, chairwoman Mary Creagh told BBC News.

“Three in five garments end in landfill or incinerators within a year – that’s expensive fuel! Half a million tonnes of microfibres a year enter the ocean. Doing nothing is not an option.”

The MPs also have concerns about social impacts. They believe fast fashion is fuelling quick turnarounds among suppliers, which may lead to poor working conditions.

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British shoppers’ love of ‘fast fashion’ putting environment at risk, warn MPs

British shoppers’ addiction to new clothes is putting the future of the planet at risk, according to MPs.


The Environmental Audit Committee has written to a string of big-name companies – including Primark, Marks and Spencer, JD Sports and Topshop – amid concerns that firms are not doing enough to clamp down on waste or encourage recycling.

New figures published by the committee show that UK shoppers consume more new clothes than any other European country, while clothing production has roughly doubled in the past 15 years.

But the cross-party committee fears that the demand for “fast fashion” is taking a heavy toll on the environment.

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  • Date: 2018-10-05T06:09:55+01:00
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MPs demand fashion bosses come clean on industry’s pollution impacts

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Jumping ahead.

Environmental Audit Committee writes to industry executives demanding more detail on how fashion retailers are mitigating their environmental impact

Fashion bosses are facing pressure from MPs to explain what their companies are doing to minimise their environmental impact, as concerns grow over the industry’s outsized impact on the planet.

‘Fast fashion’, where clothes are worn a handful of times before being thrown out, is accused by campaigners of being one of the world’s most polluting industries, requiring huge quantities of water, energy, and chemicals to support business models that are hugely resource inefficient.

M&S, Primark and Sports Direct are fuelling Britain’s throwaway society, say MPs

MARKS & Spencer, Primark and Sports Direct were panned last night for fuelling Britain’s throwaway society by producing huge numbers of cheap tops and shoes every season.

Further on.

But hundreds and thousands of tonnes are dumped in landfill every year, while plastic microplastic fibres in them make their way into the ocean when the clothes are washed.

Charities have also warned that second-hand clothes are dumped on overseas markets instead of being recycled at home.

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