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Fast fashion to be put under the microscope

The social and environmental impact of disposable fast fashion will be investigated by MPs amid concerns about cheap clothing.

Led by Mary Creagh MP, the Environmental Audit Committee will examine the carbon, resource use and water footprint of clothing throughout its lifecycle. It also will look at how clothes can be recycled, and waste and pollution reduced.

Creagh said: “Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth. But the way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact.

“Producing clothes requires toxic chemicals and produces climate-changing emissions. Every time we put on a wash, thousands of plastic fibres wash down the drain and into the oceans. We don’t know where or how to recycle end of life clothing. Our inquiry will look at how the fashion industry can remodel itself to be both thriving and sustainable.”

A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation published last year on ‘redesigning fashion’s future’ found that if the global fashion industry continues on its current growth path, it could use more than a quarter of the world’s annual carbon budget by 2050.

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