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61% of public say fashion businesses could do more to tackle climate change

Camilla Rydzek
01 November 2021

A new national survey commissioned by sustainability charity WRAP showed that UK consumers believes businesses across industries need to take immediate action to tackle climate change.

The survey of more than 2,000 UK respondents revealed that 63% wanted businesses to take immediate action to tackle climate change.

Regarding the fashion sector specifically, 61% said fashion and textile businesses could or needed to be doing more to tackle climate change and cut emissions, with 30% saying that UK businesses were behind other countries in delivering on targets.

Respondents also said they were more aware of a clothing businesses’ green reputation, with more than half (52%) saying a reputation for taking no action to mitigate climate change would influence their purchasing decision making.

“People are making it clear that they expect businesses to lead the way on tackling climate change and are prepared to walk away from brands if they don’t change,” said Dr David Moon, Director of Collaboration & Change at WRAP.

“It’s apparent that there is a willingness and desire for business to collaborate and work together on the best ways of combating climate change and guiding the UK along the path to ‘Net Zero’. Bringing down emissions and adapting to the concerns of customers should now be at the forefront of business thinking. Time is running out for companies to act,” added Dr Moon.

Respondents also expressed a desire for businesses to be more transparent, with four in ten saying businesses should have step-by-step plans showing how they would reach their climate goals and 41% saying that regular target progress reports should be published so businesses could be held accountable.

With COP26 having started this week, the charity WRAP has called for more businesses to put plans into place to tackle climate change and reduce emissions by signing up to its Voluntary Agreements, including The UK Plastics Pact, Textiles 2030 and Courtauld Commitment 2030.

The six-month-old Textiles 2030 agreement already includes signatories like Primark, GymShark and ASOS and aims to reduce the aggregate greenhouse gas footprint of new products by 50%

“Our world-leading programme of Voluntary Agreements provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to make practical changes to their operations towards science-based targets that can mitigate against the impacts they are having on the environment and demonstrate to customers their commitments to reducing emissions,” said Dr Moon.

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