According to WRAP, the UK’s Waste and Resources Action Programme, the clothing industry represents the fifth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK industry after transport, utilities, construction, and food. To reduce this footprint, WRAP today launched a Sustainable Clothing Action Plan and has obtained the commitment of companies representing 40% of UK clothing sales and many leading charities and recyclers.
Committed companies, which include such household names as Tesco and Marks & Spencer, pledge to achieve by 2020 a lifecycle:
- 15% reduction in carbon footprint;
- 15% reduction in water footprint;
- 15% reduction in waste to landfill; and
- 3.5% reduction in waste.
The companies also commit to:
- use a common assessment tool, developed by WRAP, to measure baseline position and track changes in footprint over time.
- reduce the environmental footprint of clothing through fibre and fabric selection.
- over the longer term, work with supply chain partners to reduce the environmental footprint of their processes.
- extend the useful life of clothes and reduce the environmental impact of clothing in use through our product design and services.
- develop effective messaging to influence key consumer behaviours which will reduce the environmental footprint of clothing.
- increase re-use and recycling to recover maximum value from used clothing.
- develop actions that help keep clothes out of landfill.
This is one of the most aggressive large industry sector environmental initiatives that GallonDaily has seen. We will watch its progress with interest but we have a hunch that it will be a success.
Lots more details are available at http://www.wrap.org.uk/SCAP2020targetstraderelease and through links from that page, the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan itself is at http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/sustainable-clothing-action-plan-1, and an interesting report Valuing our clothes: the true cost of how we design, use and dispose of clothing in the UK, is at http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/valuing-our-clothes
To GallonDaily’s knowledge there is no program anything like the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan anywhere in North America.