Supermarkets join green fashion planGreen fashion vows by Tesco, Sainsbury's and M&S

22 February 2009

Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer have been named as key players in a new action plan to make fashion more environmentally friendly.

The Sustainable Clothing Roadmap was kicked off by Defra Minister Lord Hunt at the start of London Fashion Week. 

It brings together over 300 organisations, including high street chains, designers and textile manufacturers to tackle the impact of throwaway fashion.

Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks and Spencer sign up 

Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Sainsbury’s have all signed up to increase their ranges of fair trade and organic, and to support fabrics that enable clothing to be recycled more easily.

The high street giants are also increasing the take-back of unwanted clothes. Last year, Which? reported on bogus charity clothes collectors who pick up clothes simply to sell themselves.

Tesco bans cotton from child labour countries

Tesco has also banned cotton from countries known to use child labour, as well as carbon-labelling of Tesco laundry detergents

And both Marks & Spencer and Tesco are pledging to increase consumer awareness on washing clothes at 30 degrees. 

The Which? tells you which perform the best at this lower temperature, while the Which? tests of washing machines will secure you a Best Buy.

Improve waste in clothing sector

Lord Hunt, Minister for Sustainability, said: ‘Retailers have a big role to play in ensuring fashion is sustainable.

‘We should all be able to walk into a shop and feel that the clothes we buy have been produced without damaging the environment or using poor labour practices, and that we will be able to reuse and recycle them when we no longer want them.’

The clothing and textiles sector in the UK alone produces around 3.1 million tonnes of CO2, 2 million tonnes of waste and 70 million tonnes of waste water per year - and 1.5 million tonnes of unwanted clothing end up in landfill.

© Press Association 2009

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