Fashion businesses make progress on path to net zero, says WRAP
Despite frequent accusations that some companies’ eco efforts come perilously close to ‘greenwashing’, they’ve received a vote of confidence from UK-based campaign group WRAP. It said on Tuesday that “clothing and textile businesses [are showing] progress on the road to net zero”.
That came as the group published the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) final report with SCAP having being launched eight years ago and wrapped up last year.
It also reported early progress on the new Textiles 2030 programme that was launched back in April with an agreement for the sector to halve GHG emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
Brands and retailers with over a 60% share of the UK clothing market have now committed to Textiles 2030 in just six months – and the first progress report shows how the 92 signatories plan to deliver climate goals and a circular economy.
WRAP said that in the past eight years, SCAP exceeded its targets in areas such as carbon and water footprint, although it struggled to complete the waste element. The most impactful change by signatories was a radical increase in the use of more sustainable fibres, from close to zero in 2012, to over 100,000 tonnes in 2020.
The carbon footprint reduction was 21.6% against a target of 15%, while water footprint was down 18.2%, again with a target of 15%. However, the waste footprint drop at 2.1% undershot the 3.5% target and the clothing-in-household-waste target of a 15% drop was well short at only 4%.
“Challenges still loom large for the textiles sector, including its contribution to global warming and water scarcity”, WRAP said, adding that “one of the key issues to unlock carbon savings is creating a truly circular economy for textiles”.
This is where Textiles 2030, comes in and includes work streams on design for longevity and recyclability, reuse business models, and closed loop recycling of textile fibres.
It’s claimed to be “the world’s most ambitious programme for sustainability in clothing and textiles”. Over the next decade, Textiles 2030 “will slash the environmental impact of UK clothing and home fabrics through practical interventions along the entire textiles chain”.
Signatories so far include ASOS, Boohoo, Dunelm, John Lewis, M&S, New Look, Next, Primark, Sainsbury’s, Ted Baker, Tesco and The Salvation Army.
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