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EXCLUSIVE – Anne Main MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which has been formed to analyse sustainability in the UK clothing and textile sectors, has told Apparel Insider the group wants to work with industry, “to provide realistic solutions the Government can take forward.” She said: “At our inaugural meeting of the APPG I was pleasantly surprised to see many of the big players in attendance and to hear their willingness to really address the situation. Our goal is to make the clothing and textiles industry sustainable.”

Main said the APPG will issue a report containing recommendations at the end of this year and is confident “all sides of the House want to see workable solutions to an identified problem.”

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Earlier this year, the Government rejected the recommendations of the Environmental Audit Committee’s report titled ‘Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability’. Asked about the relationship between the new enquiry and that one, and whether there is a risk that this enquiry will meet the same fate as the last one, Main offered some context, telling us: “I have been involved in clothing and textiles, as well as sustainability, since before I was elected back in 2005. Through my work as Chair of the APPG for Bangladesh we produced a report called ‘After Rana Plaza’ in 2011 looking into supply chains in the garment industry. More recently my work as chair of the APPG on Plastic Waste has led to an increased focus on the materials we use everyday and the impact that this is having on our environment.

“Following the Government’s response to the EAC’s report it seemed an opportune time to bring together these two sectors to look into sustainability in the clothing and textile industry.

“This APPG is looking at next steps following the Government’s response to the EAC inquiry. We need workable solutions to address an issue that is still prevalent.

“We have the luxury of being able to see the excellent work of the EAC and to work with industry and the new Government in the light of this and the new evidence we will be seeking.”

Full interview in the next printed edition of Apparel Insider.

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