In November we spent a very insightful morning at UK Parliament to participate in a discussion about Extended Producer Responsibility organised by Fashion Roundtable. The concept of EPR is to make product manufacturers and distributors responsible for their products and packaging at the end of life. This responsibility is intended to provide incentives for industry to prevent waste at the source, promote more circular design and establish public-private partnerships to help address waste program challenges. Thank you Anthony Burns, George Harding-Rolls, and Professor Dilys Williams for sharing your perspectives on this and pushing for a more circular and responsible future for the fashion industry. We urgently need more incentives for brands to address and take responsibility for the end of life of their products.
Did you know:
Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is currently being recycled into new clothing. Due to this, the fashion industry is accountable for 4% of global waste production and among the top 10 most CO2 emitting industries. Think of your favourite pair of jeans. These jeans typically need 7000 litres of water, 23.45 Kg of Co2e and multiple toxic chemicals. They are produced with little consideration of the amount of resources that are put into making the product and even less concern of the amount of polluting substances that end up back in the environment. Typically, when the customer no longer wants the jeans, they are thrown away, ending up in a landfill or incinerated, creating waste and further environmental impact.
The outcome is a fashion industry that is only focused on driving fast fashion with no responsibility over the impact it causes. If brands would be required to take responsibility over the end of life of their product, the way the industry functions could change dramatically.