London Fashion Week isn't even over yet and government organizers have already created an environmentally focused action plan for fashion. Last week during the 25th annual Fashion Week, which runs February 20-24, the Sustainable Action Clothing Plan was created to reduce harmful effects on the environment.
With the realization that 2 million tons of clothing ends up in landfills every year, a plan has been created to lower the amount of waste created from cheap, highly disposable clothing. Many brands have become increasingly popular over the past decade, launching stores aimed at young girls who are able to fill their closets with the latest fashions from these inexpensive stores. Creators of the act believe that in the long run, producing cheap clothing will be completely unsustainable.
Over 300 retailers and designers have signed onto the plan, encouraging other members of the industry to get on board. The idea of the plan is to use environmentally friendly practices during the creation and manufacturing of the clothing, all the way until they are thrown out.
In fact, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the EPA has found that many clothing manufacturers are now considered hazardous waste generators. In London alone where the plan was created, 3.1 million tons of carbon dioxide, 2 million tons of waste and 70 million tons of wastewater are created each year. Many of these are contributors to increased temperatures and global climate change.
The plan specifically includes the following:
• Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury's have pledged to increase their ranges of Fairtrade and organic clothing, and support fabrics which can be recycled more easily.
• Tesco is banning cotton from countries that use child labor.
• Oxfam and other charities will open more sustainable clothing boutiques featuring high quality second-hand clothing and new designs made from recycled garments.
• The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion will be resourced to provide practical support to the clothing sector.
• The Fairtrade Foundation will aim for at least 10% of cotton clothing in the UK to be Fairtrade material by 2012.
With the rough economy it can be harder for companies to change production methods, but many of them hold ethical fashion at high importance. Ultimately, this act is just part of the increasing efforts of high-end designers to continually produce organic, recycled and fair-trade merchandise.