Back in February, the House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee ( the guys at the top who give a sh*t about the planet ) created a report entitled Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption and Sustainability. But when the dudes with power found out that this isn’t a new Netflix documentary for which they can RT the promo to pretend they care, they weren’t such big fans.
Whether you’re determined to investigate or simply love the tea, I think you’ll be as keen as I was to know what exactly this report said. In short, it comprised of a list of eighteen suggestions as to how the government could combat the appalling environmental impact of the fast fashion industry. This morning, however, the guys in charge hit back with a ‘sashay away’.
Surely it must’ve been a bit lacklustre for the government to chuck it into landfill like a £3 tshirt, right? Let’s discuss just a few of the things that the Environmental Audit Committee proposed earlier this year…
A 1p surcharge on producers for every garment sold, which would go towards the funding of clothing collection and recycling schemes across the country.
A ban that prevents any clothing being sent to landfill that could otherwise be reused or recycled.
A penalty for the companies who do not report and comply with the Modern Slavery Act.
A reduced VAT rate on clothing repair services.
I don’t know about you, but I’d say these are pretty fair proposals.
Amidst our climate emergency, the government has decided to reject the report. Yeah, I’m not really sure how that logically links either. If you’d like to check out the official response in the form of a 16-page pdf, you can find it here.
This morning Labour MP and chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh, appeared on BBC News discussing her disappointment with the outcome. She said:
The model of cheap, throwaway fashion is literally costing us the earth. It’s based on overproduction of clothes, overconsumption of clothes, the exploitation of workers and the planet.
We recommended that the government should ban clothing being sent to landfill or incineration - they’ve rejected that out of hand.
We said that companies should do more to say what they’re doing on tackling modern slavery - again, the government has said that it’s ‘under control’.
And on that 1p charge to set up a system to collect and recycle and sort those clothes, they’ve said, ‘we’re going to think about it - come back to us in six years’.
It’s just not good enough.
She later tweeted:
It’s deeply frustrating to see the government disregarding the urgency of the issue, and I know that often it feels like the only people who can make changes are the big players with the big wallets. But I promise you we can make changes too - it’ll just take a little longer. Keep an eye out this week for a post with some solutions that we can work on as fashion lovers and clothing consumers in light of today’s governmental decision.
Wow. Apologies for putting a bit of a dampener on your Tuesday evening.
I imagine you know where I’m at when it comes to how I’m feeling about this response. So now I want to know what you think.
What are your thoughts on the government’s rejection of the EAC’s report? Head over to my Discuss page and let me know!