Climate Action

UK fashion retailers failing to commit to reduce environmental impact

A new report by the Environmental Audit Committee has found that six UK fashion retailers are significantly failing to reduce their environmental impact.

  • 31 January 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

A new report by the Environmental Audit Committee has found that six UK fashion retailers are significantly failing to reduce their environmental impact.

The report ranked the retailers from least engaged to most engaged. Boohoo, Missguided and TK Maxx were classified as some of the least engaged brands. None of these retailers have signed up to the SCAP targets to reduce their carbon, waste and water footprint.

ASOS, Marks and Spencer and Burberry were announced as some of the most engaged companies. They all use sustainable or organic cotton and recycled material in their products.

The committee welcomed ASOS becoming the first online retailer to so sign a Global Framework Agreement with IndustriALL, committing to the highest possible standards on trade union rights, health and safety, and labour relations.

The report defines how retailers in the fashion industry need to do more to tackle the labour market and environmental sustainability issues.

Mary Creagh, MP and Environmental Audit Committee chair, said: “It’s shocking to see that a group of major retailers are failing to take action to promote environmental sustainability and protect their workers. It’s disappointing that only a third of the retailers we wrote to are signed up to ACT, an important global initiative working towards getting a living wage for all garment workers.”

This news follows a United Nations announcing a charter for sustainable fashion. At COP24 last December, leading fashion brands, retailers, supplier organizations, and others, including a major shipping company, agreed to collectively address the climate impact of the fashion sector across its entire value chain.

Read the full report here.