Fast fashion and online shopping fill wardrobes with plastics

Almost half of the clothes listed on fast fashion websites are wholly produced from new petrochemicals, according to a new research

Festival Net Zero 2021

An astonishing 49% of clothes listed on fast fashion websites are produced from virgin plastics.

New research by the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) suggests fast fashion involves an enormous amount of new plastics.

It estimates 88% of recently listed clothing items contain new plastics on some websites.

Analysing more than 10,000 clothes from a range of UK’s leading fast fashion brands. the study shows online stores have been slow to adopt recycled materials.

It claims just 1% of items in some stores contain recycled materials.

Previous RSA research suggests just half of those who shop at fast fashion websites say they regularly buy clothes containing synthetic materials.

RSA calls on the government to explore a per-item ‘plastics tax’ on clothing imported into or produced in the UK containing virgin plastics.

That move could potentially discourage the extraction of fossil fuels used for clothing.

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast