Blog: Leonie BarrieUK government “out of step" on fashion regulation

Leonie Barrie | 24 June 2019

“Not good enough” and “out of step with the public” are among responses to the UK government’s plan to tackle the growing environmental footprint of the fashion industry – and its apparent rejection of recommendations set out by the Environmental Audit Committee earlier this year.

Instead of banning the incineration or landfilling of unsold stock and imposing penny levies on garment producers, Ministers say the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), a voluntary agreement co-ordinated by WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme), set targets for the industry to reduce carbon emissions, water and waste.

But how can our industry be truly sustainable if it maintains global supply chains? asks Robert Antoshak, managing director of Olah Inc, in his monthly column for just-style. Don't those supply chains create a carbon footprint so large that there will never be a way to offset the overall ecological impact of such operations?

For the European textile and clothing sector, recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce is one of the biggest challenges – according to speakers at the annual general assembly of Euratex, the European textile and clothing industry association.

And amid ongoing trade tensions, we take a look at how the escalating tariff war is weighing on China's textile and apparel exports to the US – and the China production trends sourcing executives should be watching.

With decent working conditions eluding Bangladesh's booming leather industry, an advocacy group has suggested forming a body involving the government, manufacturers and unions to help improve the sector's health and environmental safety standards.

The European Union (EU) has sent a monitoring mission to Cambodia to assess the human and labour rights situation in the country as part of the process to decide whether to end its access to the Everything But Arms (EBA) duty-free trade benefit.

Business groups representing international garment, footwear, and travel goods buyers have written to the government of Myanmar to express their increasing concern over several worker rights issues in the country.

And the International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a new Convention to combat violence and harassment in the workplace – its first new international labour standard since 2011, and one that is described as of "great importance" for the global garment sector.

Meanwhile, in other news, Gap Inc's Banana Republic brand is to switch to foam-dyed indigo yarn; Crystal International Group aims to recycle 40% of the fabric waste generated by its Sri Lanka factories this year; and Mexico has become the first to ratify the new US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).

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