The clothing sector is “looking good” as it moves towards its achieving its 2020 targets, as it cuts carbon and water impacts and has stabilised waste arisings, WRAP has announced.
In an announcement made at today’s annual conference, WRAP has explained the progress being made through the collective actions of the 82 signatories and supporters of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan’s (SCAP) sector commitment, SCAP 2020,
In just two years retailers, brands and organisations from across the clothing supply chain have reduced water impacts by a significant 12.5% per tonne of clothing, against a 15% reduction target by 2020, and are making progress to cut carbon impacts, having achieved a 3.5% reduction per tonne of clothing against a 15% reduction target.
SCAP 2020 launched two years ago, when WRAP identified key action areas that could deliver the biggest reductions in the environmental impact of clothing, including: using lower impact fibres; extending the active life of clothes; and increasing re-use and recycling. It says the sector is now “really embracing the drive for more sustainable practices and making positive changes to the way it designs and manufactures products.”
WRAP cites a move towards more sustainable fibre choices where recycled material is being chosen over virgin options, particularly for polyester, with the level of waste arising remaining stable. In addition, WRAP says it is working with industry to reduce waste to landfill by 15%, and progress against this target is being assessed and will be reported on next year.
Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP, said: “SCAP signatories have made great progress against the targets to date, particularly water. This is a positive indication of what can be achieved and we must capitalise on the momentum we’ve built. We will be working with the sector to ensure focus is maintained on priority areas. And whilst waste arisings haven’t been reduced, they have remained stable and we are encouraging concentrated efforts in this area.”
Asda Signs Up To SCAP
SCAP continues to attract support and this week clothing brand George (at Asda) signed up to the commitment, meaning that the signatories now represent over 50% of the UK retail market by sales, volume and value.
Defra’s Resources Minister, Rory Stewart, said: “Clothing brands and stores can make a valuable contribution towards a sustainable environment – by extending the life of clothes, making better use of resources and encouraging reuse and recycling. These early results demonstrate good progress and while there is still more to do I’m pleased so many companies have signed up and are taking on this challenge.“
The UK’s success in this area is paving the way for the new European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP), which was announced last month. Working with key partners, WRAP will be leading ECAP, an EU Life funded pilot project, aimed at reducing the carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing in the EU.