A new campaign is calling for tax breaks to help drive the growth of ethical fashion in the UK and bring it into the mainstream.

Harold Tillman, chairman of the British Fashion Council, is spearheading the campaign following this week’s RE: Fashion Summit and the recent Estethica debate on the promotion of ethical fashion.

“Sustainability within the fashion industry, the second largest employer in the UK, needs to be more than just personal choice, it needs to make sense for businesses and consumers,” Tillman said.

“We are calling on all parties to recognise the impact that tax breaks could make on one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative industries by supporting those who are working in a sustainable way and making it attractive to all businesses to be more ethical.”

According to Mintel figures, the UK’s ethical fashion industry was worth GBP175m (US$264m) in 2009, and is growing at a rate of 71% a year.

The campaign is supported by Monsoon, Vivienne Westwood, Edun, George at Asda, From Somewhere and London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion.