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LONDON – Developing “sustainable fabrics”, boosting textile recycling and bringing manufacturing jobs back to the UK are among recommendations put forward to the government in a new report commissioned by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion. 

The report by Hubbub aims to set out how the sector could follow a more sustainable route and the role government, businesses and consumers might play. 

It follows the 2019 House of Commons Environment Audit Select Committee report ‘Fixing Fashion’, every single recommendation of which was rejected by the Government.

The new report calls for government to reassess its approach and support the UK apparel industry as it seeks to rebuild from the impact of COVID-19.

The report calls for the UK to invest in research and development to create “more sustainable fabrics” that have a lower environmental and social impact, although it doesn’t actually say what these fabrics are.

It also calls for a boost in investment in UK fabric recycling facilities “to create a more circular economy” – once again, however, it is light on detail on how these would be funded and whether there is actually a genuine market demand for such facilities.

It also suggests there should be more support for new start-up businesses “operating more green business models,” and investing in skills to bring more clothes manufacturing jobs back to the UK.

Finally, it calls for support to industry to create clearer information and labelling about the sustainability of clothes.

Launching the report Catherine West MP, chair of the APPG, said: Coronavirus has exposed deep inequalities and unsustainability in the garment industry. Creating a sustainable and ethical future for the fashion industry is an important but complex challenge for government, industry and the public and what is clear is that there is an appetite for this on all sides. We must seize this moment and put these recommendations into action by pushing the government to be a global leader, helping to build a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry, both within the UK and globally.”

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