Consumers say fashion retail is responsible for textile environmental impact

Nearly six in ten (58%) consumers believe clothing manufacturers are mainly responsible for the textile industry’s environmental and social impacts, new research shows.

The YouGov polling involved over 2,000 adults in the UK, and was carried out on behalf of the Green Alliance.

The polling reveals that the public want businesses and the government to take action to help the fashion industry become more sustainable.

The polling found 30% of people want the fashion industry to use less polluting production practices, partner with charity shops, and end the destruction of unsold or returned goods.

It also found an overwhelming majority (85%) say destroying unsold or returned clothing is wrong while 79% of respondents want to ban the destruction of clothes altogether.

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Meanwhile, more than in eight in ten (83%) support setting standards to improve the environmental impact of textile production.

The Green Alliance report says: “Reusing more existing products could radically cut resource consumption and its environmental impact. 

“It also has financial benefits for the public, charities and businesses alike. 

“The reuse landscape is changing fast, with large companies becoming more interested. And the public, especially in the light of the cost of living crisis, are increasingly open to the idea of buying less and buying second-hand items.”

The report offers key recommendations to help fashion businesses produce profitable reuse offerings for customers. 

These include developing improved tech to cut costs, partnering up with charities and to create appealing platforms.

A report earlier this month found that the  textile recycling industry was on the verge of “imminent collapse”, the Textile Recycling Association (TRA) has warned.

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