Why fashion falls short: retailers respond to MPs' sustainability charges

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The environmental audit committee’s interim report on fashion retailers’ ethical and environmental track records show the industry needs to make up a lot of ground.

MPs have criticised UK fashion businesses for failing to prioritise sustainability in their company policies, and have called on them to participate fully in industry initiatives to tackle social and environmental issues. The comments were published in an interim report on 31 January by the environmental audit committee as part of its wider inquiry into the sustainability of the fashion industry.

The inquiry launched in June 2018 to investigate the social and environmental impacts of the fast fashion business model, and the wider clothing industry. It asked 16 fashion retailers to submit evidence on areas such as their use of organic or sustainable cotton, limiting the discharge of hazardous chemicals and the re-use or recycling of unsold stock. It also explored claims of unfair labour practices in UK supplier factories.

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