TRAID is concerned at the ‘business as usual’ response from the UK Government which rejected a raft of recommendations made by MPs as part of the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry – Fixing Fashion, Clothing consumption and sustainability.

Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world and creates more carbon emissions than international aviation and maritime shipping combined. Voluntary initiatives to address this are not working. Instead, fashion consumption and production is rising.

A crucial point made in the report was that ‘the fashion industry has marked its own homework for too long’. In short, we need Government to legislate the industry to accelerate change. For example, to stop clothes being sent to landfill and incineration, to protect the rights of garment workers both in the UK and globally and to set mandatory environmental targets to regulate fashion retailers.

The time to act is now, and unfortunately, this time, the Government has failed to grasp this opportunity to protect our planet and its residents from the worst excesses of the fashion industry.

Organisations like TRAID already do so much to encourage more reuse, repair and recycling while making it easy for people to source more of their clothes second-hand. And, partners we fund, like Pesticide Action Network and Nagorik Uddyog are improving the incomes, working conditions and health of garment workers and cotton farmers – the people making our clothes.

Yet, in an era of climate emergency, we urgently need our Government to support, expand and champion work like this by quickly implementing legislation to put the brakes on fast fashion.