Clothing firms Next, ASOS and Topshop owner Arcadia Group are among those pledging to measure and report on the carbon footprint of their clothes over the weekend.
Twenty-two firms representing more than a third of UK clothing sales also committed to cutting their carbon, lower water use and waste, using new baseline targets by 2020.
Waste body WRAP says it expects more firms to follow the lead of high street retailers, charities, recyclers and other major players which have already signed the SCAP 2020 Commitment.
The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) run by WRAP has developed a spreadsheet-based ‘footprint’ calculator so firms can compare achievements more easily.
Liz Goodwin, WRAP chief executive said: “We know that overall, clothing contributes around 5% of the carbon footprint and between 6-8% of the water footprint of all the UK’s goods and services. It also accounts for more than 1 million tonnes of wasted materials, making it the most significant category for consumption impacts after food and drink, housing and transport.
“SCAP is an opportunity for all players in the sector to work together to reduce these impacts, making individual changes for a common good,” she added.
Signatories agree to stick to seven pledges:
– Use a common tool to measure their baseline carbon footprint,
– cut the environmental footprint of clothing through the way they pick fibre and fabric,
– work with firms in their supply chain to cut the footprint of their processes,
– design clothes to extend their “useful life”,
– influence consumers with “messaging” to reduce their clothing’s environmental footprint
– increase the re-use and recycling of used clothing
– work to keep clothes out of landfill.
The British Retail Consortium, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Clothes Aid, Defra, I&G Cohen, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Salvation Army Trading Company, Tesco and the Textile Recycling Association are also among the first to sign up to the commitment.