Green clothing comes into style

Members of a sustainable clothing group have outperformed the rest of the industry in cutting carbon, water and waste. That’s according to a new report from WRAP, which suggests signatories […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Members of a sustainable clothing group have outperformed the rest of the industry in cutting carbon, water and waste.

That’s according to a new report from WRAP, which suggests signatories to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) have helped slash the environmental impact of the UK clothing sector.

The not-for-profit sustainability organisation’s programme, which aims to drive the reuse, repair and recycling of items, now accounts for more than half of the UK clothing market (60%) in terms of volume.

Members included ASOS, Next, Oxfam, Cancer Research UK and Primark.

Water use has seen a 13.5% reduction – saving enough water to fill 23,000 bath tubs for every tonne produced.

Carbon use has also been reduced by 10.6% for every tonne of clothing sold by SCAP retailers.

Both water and carbon have a 15% reduction target by 2020.

Material waste, which has a 2020 target of 3.5%, has achieved a 0.8% saving, equivalent to 30 pairs of women’s jeans for every tonne of jeans sold.

The group now aims to tackle priority garments – those with the highest environmental costs in terms of manufacture and which sell in the largest numbers, including women’s dresses, jumpers and jeans, followed by men’s t-shirts and jumpers.

Steve Creed, Director Business Programmes WRAP, said “I am delighted by how well SCAP signatories are doing.

“At this stage of the agreement they are not only well on the way to achieving the targets but continue to outperform the sector as a whole – particularly in sustainable cotton.”