A cross party group of MPs in Britain are calling for fashion companies to be charged one penny per garment to help fund clothing collection and recycling.
The Environmental Audit Committee is taking aim at the problem of ‘throwaway fashion,’ which has a tremendous toll on both the environment and on working conditions for suppliers who are tasked with churning out clothes in this era of fast fashion.
Their report, entitled Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption and Sustainability, also stressed that labor exploitation persists in the UK, saying the “Made in the UK” label should mean workers are paid at least the minimum wage.
The Independent reports:
In a summary to the report, MPs wrote: “Forced labour is used to pick cotton in two of the world’s biggest cotton producing countries, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Labour exploitation is also taking place in the UK. ‘Made in the UK’ should mean workers are paid at least the minimum wage.
“But we were told it is an open secret that some garment factories in places like Leicester are not paying the minimum wage. This must stop. But if the risk of being caught is low, then the incentive to cut corners is high.”
Labour’s Mary Creagh, chairwoman of the committee, said: “Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth. Our insatiable appetite for clothes comes with a huge social and environmental price tag: carbon emissions, water use, chemical and plastic pollution are all destroying our environment.
“Fashion retailers must take responsibility for the clothes they produce. That means asking producers to consider and pay for the end of life process for their products through a new Extended Producer Responsibility scheme,” added Creagh.
“The government must act to end the era of throwaway fashion by incentivising companies that offer sustainable designs and repair services.”