Fast-fashion garments often will end up in land-fills where they will inevitably be buried or burned. According to the Guardian, this occurs to 300,000 tonnes of garments annually in the UK alone. Members of the UK Parliament urged its government to set in motion a charge of one pound per article of clothing in order to raise enough funds to fully combat the current format of sorting and disposing of garments. Unfortunately, the government was not able to support this proposal.
The manufacturing of garments leads to heavy water consumption, micro-plastic waste and emission of green-house gases in the environment (among many other effects). The Members of Parliament who are on the Environmental Audit Committee wanted to combat this as they claim that UK shoppers spend more on clothing than any other country in Europe. The demand is pushing more production at an unhealthy pace. This pace leads to unsold clothing ending up in land-fills. The Environmental Audit Committee wanted to ban this practice, but the government remained unconvinced this was the most effective measure.
The committee also proposed that there be mandatory environmental targets for fashion companies and penalising companies that do not meet certain sustainability standards, but the government settled for voluntary participation in the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. This has fostered little cooperation amongst retailers and funding is dwindling for the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan Recycling Charity.
The government claims that they are making the necessary arrangements to facilitate sustainable practices despite not taking any of the Environmental Audit Committee’s suggestions. The government claims to be aware of the dire situation and will continue to discuss proposals from the Members of Parliament. Let’s hope the UK can turn this disastrous decision around in time, as we have little time left.