Labour’s Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, said today that the Government is not doing enough to tackle an “epidemic” of unsustainable fashion.
Speaking in the Commons, the newly-appointed Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said the Government was working “on developing an ambitious new phase of the sustainable clothing action plan”.
Ms Villiers, who replaced Michael Gove in the role, said: “We are planning to develop regulatory standards in labels to support durable, repairable and recyclable products, consult on an extended producer responsibility scheme, and support innovation in textile recycling, as well as increasing the transparency in reporting required on modern slavery, and continue to prioritise the enforcement of national minimum wage legislation.”
Ms Creagh, however, said: “The announcements you have just made will not go far enough to tackle the fast fashion epidemic which has been promoted by shows such as Love Island.
“It may be bikini weather outside, but when bikinis are being sold for £1 on fast fashion websites, it is clear the workers are not getting what they need. When are you going to bring in the extended producer responsibility and ban clothing from landfill?”
Ms Villiers replied: “I think there is real consensus across the House that we do need action on this, and the Government has a credible plan which we are delivering.”
She added: “We need to make sure that we get this right. But I can assure you we are moving towards solutions on these problems.
Tory MP Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) said: “Fashion provides very important livelihoods to people in low-income countries around the world.” He added: “As we rightly address the question of sustainability we must never throw away their livelihoods, which are so important. We must seek, in fact, to make sure those livelihoods are improved.”
Ms Villiers replied: “With all these matters, our goal should be to harness, to pursue both prosperity and environmental sustainability at the same time.”