Fashion labels falling short on use of recycled materials

The report mentioned 60% of Boohoo’s ladies’s clothes have been made solely from new plastics

Nearly half of of ladies’s garments on the market on some of the main on-line web sites are made completely from new plastics, based on a examine.

The analysis by the charity the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) checked out 10,000 gadgets being bought by Boohoo, Prettylittlething, Missguided and Asos.

It discovered on common 49% have been made of polyester, acrylic, nylon and elastane.

The RSA mentioned the numbers diversified by outlet with Asos utilizing comparatively much less new plastic than the others.

The examine discovered that 60% of Boohoo’s ladies’s clothes and 57% of Boohoo-owned Prettylittlething’s have been made completely from new plastics.

Missguided had 42% of its gadgets made completely from new plastics and Asos 36%.

The RSA additionally mentioned that the examine discovered that on common, simply 3% of garments which contained any plastics used recycled plastics – “although this rises to 6% among items from Asos”.

Missguided’s head of sourcing and product know-how Paul Smith mentioned the corporate was “proud of the progress it had made” and that every one its personal model merchandise have been packaged and despatched in 100% recycled plastic. However, it added: “We agree there’s more to do.”

The firm mentioned it had “committed to making sure 10% of our products will use recycled fibres by the end of 2021 and 25% by the end of 2022”.

Asos mentioned the figures mirrored positively on it, however like the remaining of the business it recognised extra wanted to be carried out.

The examine for the report Fast Fashion’s Plastic Problem, was carried out between 11 and 29 May. The researchers checked out greater than 2,500 not too long ago added gadgets from every web site, unfold throughout completely different product classes.

‘Throwaway tradition’

The RSA mentioned the plastic used massive quantities of vitality and created environmental harm of their manufacturing and will take hundreds of years to interrupt down.

It added {that a} “throwaway culture”, meant that “the bulk of these garments are ending up in landfill”.

“The sheer volume of clothing produced by these websites is shocking – we should see many of these items, which go for rock-bottom prices, as akin to other short-lived plastics. The nature of fast fashion trends means they are not designed to have long lives in our wardrobes,” mentioned the report’s co-author Josie Warden.

The RSA is asking for motion to chop down on the use of plastic in trend gadgets.

It needs to authorities to take a look at introducing a plastics tax on garments imported into or produced within the UK.

It says web sites ought to give you methods of selling second-hand clothes, “along the lines of Depop and Asos’ marketplace” and to publish figures on how a lot plastic they use.

And it’s encouraging customers to purchase much less and hold garments for longer, somewhat than solely carrying clothes a “handful of times”.

A model walks on a catwalk with an Asos logo in the background

A mannequin walks on a catwalk with an Asos brand within the background

Asos, mentioned its costs weren’t at “throwaway” ranges and disputed the report’s description of it as a fast-fashion retailer.

It identified it does publish details about materials and their care, together with on a brand new web page on its web site about the best way to care for garments in a extra environmentally-friendly method.

It mentioned it’s encouraging that the RSA figures mirrored positively on it as a result of shifting to extra sustainable materials was a key factor of its Fashion With Integrity programme.

However, it mentioned like the remaining of the business it recognised there was way more work to do and that it was frequently reviewing and creating programmes to minimise its affect on individuals and the planet.

Boohoo has printed a Ready for the Future technique which units an “ambitious” purpose of all polyester and cotton being recycled or extra sustainable for 2025.

However, the RSA report mentioned the corporate had a “mountain to climb” to fulfill this goal.

Boohoo has been approached for remark.

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