The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has launched an inquiry into the social and environmental impacts of disposable cheap clothing and the wider clothing sector.
This inquiry will examine the carbon, resource use and waste footprint of clothing throughout its lifecycle, and will look at how clothes can be recycled, with waste and pollution being reduced.
Synthetic fibres used in some clothing can result in ocean pollution, and sustainability issues also arise when clothing is no longer wanted.
A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that the growth of clothing production is linked to a decline in the number of times an item is warn, and that the disposal of these products is typically sending to landfill and contribute to methane emissions when they break down there.
ECA chair Mary Creagh MP said: “Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth. But the way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact. Producing clothes requires toxic chemicals and produces climate-changing emissions. Every time we put on a wash, thousands of plastic fibres wash down the drain and into the oceans. We don’t know where or how to recycle end of life clothing.
“Our inquiry will look at how the fashion industry can remodel itself to be both thriving and sustainable.”