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Fashion retailers summoned before environmental audit committee

Asos, Amazon, Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing and Missguided have been called up on to give evidence on sustainability.

The five etailers have been invited by the environmental audit committee to give evidence at the House of Commons.

Mary Creagh MP, chair of the committee, wrote letters that have been published today, requesting information including staff wages, life-cycle of garments sold by the retailers and their strategies for the reduction of the environmental and social impact of their businesses.

It comes after the Committee heard evidence on 30 October, that the buying practices of some online fashion retailers may be putting British closing manufacturers in a position where they can only pay garment workers illegally low wages.

Creagh said: “Our recent evidence hearing raised alarm bells about the fast-growing online-only retail sector. Low-quality £5 dresses aimed at young people are said to be made by workers on illegally low wages and are discarded almost instantly, causing mountains of non-recycled waste to pile up.”

She added: “We will be calling some of these online retailers in front of the committee to answer questions, but, in the mean time, my letters encourage them to face up to the social and environmental consequences of their business models. We want to know that they are fully compliant with employment law, that garments have a decent lifespan, and that profit is not put before environmental damage.”

The committee will publish written responses once they are received.

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