Valuing Our Clothes: the cost of UK fashion

Tags: fashion | attitudes | consumer behaviour | clothes

Today, we are excited to share our brand new research on the UK clothing industry with you. Valuing Our Clothes: the cost of UK fashion explores the environmental impact of the UK clothing industry, and includes research on consumer behaviour and attitudes, towards buying, caring for, and disposing of clothing.

The report highlights achievements from the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) a collaborative framework, and voluntary agreement of organisations across the supply chain.
We have found:

SCAP signatories have outperformed the UK clothing sector, reducing carbon by 10.6%, water by 13.5%, and waste across the product life cycle by 0.8%, per tonne of clothing since 2012.

  • The amount of clothing in household residual waste in the UK has reduced by 50,000 tonnes since 2012.
  • Switching to sustainable cotton continues to present one of the biggest opportunities for clothing retailers and brands; and further progress in this area could help meet the SCAP target for water.
  • Big environmental savings can be made by focusing on ‘priority products’.
  • The carbon footprint has been reduced by 700,000 tonnes CO2e through people washing their clothes at lower temperatures, and ironing and tumble-drying less frequently.
  • With rising global demand for clothing, we urgently need to secure new sources of materials and find new markets for used clothing. Fibre to fibre recycling is a key opportunity.

While SCAP signatories and consumers have made good progress, the overall impact of UK clothing is still going up. The report highlights a number of ways that businesses can reduce this impact and achieve their targets.

To download the report, visit: