Retail sustainability

UK brands push for government support in sustainability

The UK fashion industry is calling for the government to support further sustainable development, according to a new report.

The UK fashion industry is calling for the government to support further sustainable development, according to a new report.

The study, released today by trade publication Drapers, asked the respondent’s opinions on the recommendations made after the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) completed its inquiry into the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry in February 2019. This focused specifically on the disposable nature of the fast fashion industry.

While almost all of the 370 business leaders and professionals agreed to the committee’s proposed implementations, 85% of them said the government is currently not doing enough to support the industry’s development in this regard.

94.9% of respondents supported the EAC’s recommendation that calls for mandatory sustainability targets for retailers. Furthermore, 97.1% support the introduction of fines for companies that fail to comply with the Modern Slavery Act. The same consequences are to apply to retailers that do not meet zero-emissions targets (96.4%).

But, when asked what additional actions the government should take to encourage the industry to become more sustainable, respondents also called for more investment in recycling infrastructure (84.1%) as well as the outlawing of unsustainable practices (71%).

Interestingly the majority of retailers (92.2%) reached a consensus that sustainability is a commercial imperative for their businesses. This statement is clearly driven by changing customer demands, with 91.6% saying there is a growing interest in sustainability from their customers.

Mary Creagh MP, chair of the EAC, also commented on the necessity of government intervention in the fashion industry at the Draper’s Sustainability Conference earlier this year.

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By Camilla Rydzek

Camilla Rydzek is an Editorial & Research Assistant at Current Global. She helps both the content and consultancy teams gather insights across the fashion, beauty and retail industries. Her background is in studying Fashion Management at the University of the Arts London. Her interests lie in the evolution of technology and innovation and their implications on a more sustainable future.