Online retailers' commitment to reducing fast fashion impact 'on people and the planet'

Some of the country’s biggest fast fashion brands have launched sustainability programmes to attempt to offset the damage to the environment.

The Yorkshire Post contacted six of the country’s leading retailers to ask about their contribution to cutting the impact caused by their brands, only ASOS and Boohoo responded.

An ASOS spokesman said the business was “committed to reducing the impact of our business on people and the planet”.

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The company has reduced emissions per order by 30 per cent from 2015 to 2019, they said, and increased the mix of more sustainable fibres across the business.

Stock photo of the offices of online retailer Boohoo. Photo: PA

“For example, 85 per cent of the cotton in our own brand products is now from more sustainable sources; we've reached up to 90 per cent recycled materials in our packaging; and have pioneered innovative new ways of designing products to reduce waste, as we demonstrated through the launch of our first-ever circular design collection in September,” they said.

But they added: “We know there’s more work to be done however, and we’re in the process of setting ambitious new targets on sustainability to take us forward for the next decade and beyond.”

While Boohoo said it was “acutely aware of the challenges that the industry faces with regards to the environment”

Last month, Boohoo launched its sustainability strategy UPFront, which sets out a range of targets.

“Our team developed this after extensive research with consumers and our own teams and in response to this feedback it is straightforward, no nonsense and target driven,” Boohoo spokesman said.

“It includes commitments such as by 2023 we will launch resale or recycle options across our brands and by 2025 we will ensure that no textile waste from our UK textile production goes direct to landfill,” they said.

But they said consumers also said they found sustainability confusing.

“Our ambition is to use our size and scale to make sustainable fashion affordable to everyone, not just those with deeper pockets,” they said.