Clothing: Waste Disposal

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th December 2018.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to prevent the destruction of unsold stock by fashion brands.

Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) tackle the practice of the destruction of unsold stock by fashion brands and (b) encourage fashion brands to donate or repurpose that stock.

Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage fashion brands to process unsold stock in an environmentally sustainable way.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Destroying usable stock is not condoned by the Government.

In the new Resources and Waste Strategy we have committed to review and consult on measures such as extended producer responsibility (EPR) and product standards for five new waste streams by the end of 2025, two of which we plan to complete by 2022, as well as to explore options for ecolabelling. Textiles is one of the five priority areas identified for this.

In addition, Defra is supporting the voluntary Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP). Signatories, representing nearly 60% of clothes sold in the UK market by volume, are working to minimise waste and reduce the environmental impacts of their products. A number of signatories work with charity partners or donate their unsold stock for reuse.

For the future, as well as exploring the next phase of the SCAP post-2020, we will consider whether any other measures are needed to address this challenge.

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