WRAP urges consumers not to throw away clothes

Written by: Editorial Staff | Published:
Launch of WRAP'S Love Your Clothes Campaign

Resources charity WRAP has used the launch of a new report to urge people to stop throwing away so many clothes.

The report, “Valuing our Clothes: the Cost of UK Fashion”, looks at the environmental impact of the UK clothing industry.

It follows on from a 2012 report which heralded the launch of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), a voluntary agreement among designers, brands and manufacturers to make the rag trade greener.

WRAP found the amount of clothing dumped into household residual waste had decreased since 2012, falling by 50,000 tonnes to 300,000 tonnes.

It said a number of factors had driven this change, with reuse and recycling signatories helping to divert an increasing amount of clothing away from landfill.

Director of business programmes Steve Creed said: “It’s great to see fewer clothes ending up in residual waste. But overall our carbon footprint, including global and territorial emissions, has risen to more than 26 million tonnes CO2e.

“That’s nearly two million tonnes greater than five years ago due to increased clothing purchases, thanks to relatively low prices and the increased population.”

Bruce Bratley, founder of First Mile recycling company said: “News that shoppers are dumping a million tonnes of throwaway fashion in the bin is a shocking reminder the fashion industry has a long way to go in order to be green.

“As long as fast fashion exists, so will throwaway culture. Brands need to focus on making clothes that will last rather than disposable pieces created for a season. It also needs to be easier for consumers to recycle their clothes and the industry must play its part in education and innovation to ensure clothes can be and are recycled.”

SCAP membership has grown and now accounts for more than half of the UK clothing market. To date signatories have made reductions in carbon, water and waste on a per-tonne basis.

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