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New All Party Parliamentary Group for sustainable clothing and textiles launched

Lauretta Roberts
19 July 2019

A new All Party Parliamentary Group, comprising MPs from across the political spectrum, has been formed to interrogate the sustainability practices of the clothing and textiles industry, including supply chains, materials used and consumer behaviour.

The formation of the group comes shortly after the publication of the "Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability" reported created by the Environmental Audit Committee, led by MP Mary Creagh. The report made a number of recommendations for government, including a 1p "garment tax" but none of them were adopted. The EAC had spent months interviewing retailers, designers, activists, manufacturers and educators before compiling its report.

Anne Main, the Conservative MP for St Albans, chairs the new group, which held is inaugural meeting this week, and is supported by Hubbub, the sustainability charity. Dozens of major retailers and industry bodies attended the meeting.

"I am delighted to be voted in to chair this group and I hope we can help to shine a spotlight on this important topic. We need to have a proper debate about the trade-offs of using man-made materials instead of sustainable natural products and only by seeking evidence and asking difficult questions are we going to get there.

"We know that the current situation cannot continue and I was pleased to see that this was recognised by all the guests attending the meeting. Now is the time for constructive action to make the clothing and textiles industry more sustainable. The APPG will now look to take evidence from industry and others and will produce a report with recommendations for change.

"I would encourage all parts of the industry, from farmers to retailers to industry bodies to engage with the work of the APPG as we look to bring sustainability to this important issue," Main said.

Trewin Restorick, CEO and founder of Hubbub, added: "We are proud to be promoting this APPG and hope that the group's work will complement and enhance our current fashion campaigns. Creating greater sustainability in the clothing and textiles industry is increasingly important and with the founding of this APPG we hope that government policy can be influenced to deliver a real step change in how we think about what we wear."

Over the coming months the APPG will be seeking evidence from a wide base to inform recommendations to government for action in the clothing and textiles sector.

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