Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 shows that fashion still has a way to go on its journey to eco-consciousness
2019 might well go down in history as the year the fashion industry got serious about sustainability, but a new report suggests the sector still has some improvements to make.
New data from Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 (SCAP 2020) reveals that, while the United Kingdom fashion industry has made strides in becoming more sustainable in some areas, clothing waste remains a sticking point. According to the Textiles Market situation report from the campaigning group Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) — which is behind the SCAP 2020 initiative — increasing numbers of clothing items are simply being trashed once discarded, making them more likely to end up either incarcerated or in a landfill.
SCAP 2020 has been signed by more than 90 organizations across the U.K. clothing industry, including Boohoo, Mint Velvet and Urban Outfitters. Using 2012 as a baseline, the initiative has seen a water reduction of more than 18% among signatories, who have also slashed carbon use by 13.4%.
However, whole chain waste reduction continues at a slower pace, with a 1.4% improvement against baseline figures. WRAP has signaled that it is unlikely that its target of a 3.5% reduction will be met by December 2020; according to its Textiles Market situation report, the total clothing sent to landfill or incineration rose by 10% between 2015 to 2017.
“I am delighted by the improvements SCAP signatories have made in carbon and water, but waste and influencing consumer behavior remain more challenging,” said Peter Maddox, director of WRAP, in a statement. “The next few years will be an interesting time for the sector. As well as the economic context and trends in fashion, we have EU exit and increased sector scrutiny that may all shape the future for U.K. fashion.”
The organization is kicking off 2020 with a “Love Your Clothes Donation Generation” campaign that aims to raise awareness about how to donate old threads, via charity shops and donation banks. RGA
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