Transparency for fashion
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My aim is to ask the UK Government and EU Parliament :
- to legislate in order to require all companies within the fashion industry to produce and publish a Transparency Index, requiring the disclosure of information about their production chains, including working conditions, waste disposal methods and the use of chemicals within production; and
- to consider making Hydrocide a punishable offence, which will ensure that companies are responsible for how they dispose of excess, chemicals, dyes and waste.
Why is this important?
The fashion industry is renowned for being the 4th most polluting industry in the world,
While some companies have admirably already started to focus their efforts on sustainability, I am concerned that real change will not be effected without government intervention. Without state regulation, there is very little, or nothing, to oblige companies to adopt better work ethics and ensure that the production process follows a moral and ethical code.
We are unlikely to inspire change within the fashion industry without an incentive or government supported initiative. Taking tobacco consumerism as an example, studies have found that there was little change in people’s habits simply by printing warnings on cigarette packets. However, once the UK government took steps to ban smoking in public places the number of smokers dropped significantly.
I would urge the British government and the European Parliament to consider the imposition of regulation within the fashion industry, to include production, environmental protection and working conditions.
If we consider fast fashion for a moment, have you ever really given thought to the practices that companies must engage in overseas in order to produce such vast amounts of clothing on a large scale, still managing to sell them to consumers at £2-£5 per piece and yet also retain profitability? Fast fashion aside, how do luxury brands manage the huge quantities of waste they produce and how do they dispose of it? Many do not turn their mind to these matters because they are not within eye's reach. However, as a leading country in the Western world where we are increasingly concerned with climate change, where we pride ourselves on human rights and where we have enacted new laws to tackle slavery in the modern world, we have a duty to ensure that the things we consume (whether produced nationally or internationally) all meet a standard that we should be entitled to expect.
It is time to encourage a political dialogue between the government and the fashion industry.
Purely for reference, please consider the following:
-The report ‘Fashion Transparency Index’, from Fashion Revolution;
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