U.K. Parliament Pressures Fashion Industry to Embrace Sustainability

LONDON — As the discussion around the fashion industry’s environmental impact heats up, the U.K. parliament is putting more pressure on retailers and brands to rethink their ways of doing business.
On Tuesday at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the environmental and audit committee gathered designers, sustainability experts and members of parliament to discuss how the British fashion industry has been keeping up with sustainability standards and how the government can intervene and guide companies to reevaluate their business models, with the necessary legislation.
Mary Creagh, the committee’s chair who called the hearing, noted that it was the largest public select committee hearing ever held and plans to hold one more, where the committee will question online and off-line retailers.
Her aim is to gather evidence about where the industry stands in order for the committee to bring forward a set of recommendations to the government.
Among the speakers were Claire Bergkamp, sustainability and innovation director at Stella McCartney; Dilys Williams, London College of Fashion’s professor of fashion design for sustainability; designers Phoebe English and Graeme Raeburn and Clare Hieatt, who runs the denim label Hiut Denim.
They talked about issues such as waste and finding new ways of utilizing off-cut fabrics, unhealthy consumer attitudes

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