Major clothing retailers aim for 15% carbon cut

Fashion designer Stella McCartney, Marks & Spencer and Next are among 50 retailers, suppliers and recyclers in Britain to have committed to reduce the environmental impacts of clothing. They have […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Fashion designer Stella McCartney, Marks & Spencer and Next are among 50 retailers, suppliers and recyclers in Britain to have committed to reduce the environmental impacts of clothing.

They have aimed for a 15% reduction in carbon, water and waste to landfill as well as a 3.5% cut in waste arising per tonne of clothing by the end of the decade.

It is part of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) led by WRAP, which has had 12 retailers and 15 charities, recyclers and collectors sign up – representing 40% of the UK clothing market. They aim to use lower impact fibres, extend the active life of clothes and increase re-use and recycling.

WRAP has developed a Footprint Calculator, which will help the retailers calculate the carbon, water and waste footprints of their whole garment portfolio and also enable recyclers and collectors to measure the same while changing waste destinations.

If the companies meet the targets, they could help make carbon saving equivalent to removing 250,000 cars from the road, water saving equivalent to 170,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools and 16,000 tonnes less waste being created in the first place.

They also aim to encourage the public to change their behaviour and think about the way they buy, use and discard their clothing with the launch of the ‘Love Your Clothes’ campaign.

Liz Goodwin, WRAP Chief Executive said: “It’s not just SCAP signatories who have a role to play, UK consumers are also key. We spend billions on clothes every year that we are not getting the most out of and that’s bad for our wallets and the environment. By working across the lifecycle and mobilising industry and consumer action, we can achieve amazing results.”

According to WRAP, consumers buy around 27 items of clothing a year, with the average household spending £1,700 on it.