Inaugural meeting of the APPG for Sustainable Clothing and Textiles

Inaugural meeting of the APPG for Sustainable Clothing and Textiles

The UK government has formed an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to probe the sustainability of the clothing and textiles industry, including supply chains, materials used and consumer behaviour.

The group brings together MPs from all political backgrounds, and held its augural meeting this week with dozens of major retailers, industry bodies and recycling experts in attendance.

Its formation comes after the Environmental Audit Committee released a recent report earlier this year on 'Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability.' 

This was based on its investigation into the British fashion industry at the end of last year, during which MPs quizzed a number of leading fashion retailers – including M&S, Next, Primark, Debenhams, Missguided, Asos and Boohoo – on what they were doing to reduce the environmental and social impacts of the apparel they sell, amid concerns the so-called 'fast-fashion' business model encourages over-consumption and generates excessive waste.

But the Government's response to the report and its recommendations was criticised as "not good enough" and "out of step with the public."

"I hope we can help to shine a spotlight on this important topic. We need to have a proper debate about the trade-offs of using man-made materials instead of sustainable natural products and only by seeking evidence and asking difficult questions are we going to get there," says Anne Main MP, the newly elected chair of the APPG, which is supported and promoted by sustainability charity Hubbub. 

"We know that the current situation cannot continue and I was pleased to see that this was recognised by all the guests attending the meeting. 

"Now is the time for constructive action to make the clothing and textiles industry more sustainable. The APPG will now look to take evidence from industry and others and will produce a report with recommendations for change.  

"I would encourage all parts of the industry, from farmers to retailers to industry bodies to engage with the work of the APPG as we look to bring sustainability to this important issue." 

Trewin Restorick, CEO and founder of Hubbub, adds: "Creating greater sustainability in the clothing and textiles industry is increasingly important, and with the founding of this APPG we hope that government policy can be influenced to deliver a real step change in how we think about what we wear."  

Over the coming months the APPG will be seeking evidence from a wide base to inform recommendations to government for action in the clothing and textiles sector.