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Is fast fashion still “costing the earth”? MPs revisit landmark inquiry

26 April 2024

On Wednesday 1 May, the Environmental Audit Committee revisits its landmark inquiry into fast fashion, in an evidence session exploring the sustainability of the UK fashion industry.

According to research by think tank the Hot or Cool Institute, the UK has the G20’s fourth highest carbon footprint from fashion, behind Australia, Japan and the US.

In 2019, the Committee’s predecessor published its report on Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability. Calling for the Government to “end the era of throwaway fashion” by introducing an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme, and by rewarding companies that take positive steps to reduce waste, the report is one of the most read Select Committee reports of all time.

Since that report, the Committee has held several evidence sessions following up on its recommendations and tracking the progress made by both industry and the Government.

Disappointingly, several leading fashion retailers have declined the Committee’s invitation to give evidence in person on this occasion.

MPs are likely to ask witnesses what the environmental impact of UK fashion is likely to look like in years to come, and what progress the industry has made towards sustainability. They are also likely to ask witnesses from retailers like H&M and boohoo what steps they have taken to reduce their environmental impacts.

Members may also ask witnesses about the impact reselling platforms have had on the industry, and whether these increase or reduce the likelihood of overconsuming fashion products.


 Wednesday 1 May in Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster

At 2.15pm

  • Professor Dilys Williams, Founder and Director, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London
  • Helen Bird, Head of Material Systems Transformation, WRAP
  • Femke den Hartog, CSR Policy Advisor, Europe, INretail

At 3.15pm 

  • Responsible Sourcing, Group Product Operations and Wholesale Director, boohoo Group plc
  • Marcus Hartmann, Head of Public Affairs, H&M
  • Joe Metcalfe, Founder and CEO, Thrift+
  • Lorna Fallon, Trading Director, Oxfam

Further information

Image: AdobeStock