Wakefield MP slams fast fashion retailers

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More action from fashion retailers, on sustainability, is called for by Wakefield MP Mary Creagh.

In her role as chair of parliament’s environmental audit committee, Ms Creagh has been looking at ways to mitigate the environmental and social impact of fast fashion.

She visited Wastesaver, Oxfam’s textile recycling and sorting centre near Wakefield, and heard how fast fashion is a threat to Oxfam’s ability to resell, reuse or recycle donated items to shops.

Oxfam is one of the only major charity retailers to operate its own textile sorting facility, Oxfam Wastesaver, which sorts 12,000 tonnes of donated clothes, shoes and accessories a year in West Yorkshire.

It is staffed by workers paid the living wage, and raises around half a million pounds a year for Oxfam’s work in fighting poverty.

The environmental audit committee has published its interim report on sustainability in the fashion industry, which named and shamed major retailers for shrinking away from responsibilities towards their workers and the environment.

Ms Creagh said: “I was shocked by how some major retailers are shirking their responsibilities.

“And how they are simply not doing enough to address how they are affecting their workers and the environment.

“I wanted to visit Oxfam’s Wastesaver facility in Batley to see how Yorkshire is leading the way in tackling this issue.

“Initiatives like this can provide real inspiration and concrete solutions for major retailers.

“Fashion brands need to take action to reduce the environmental harm done by the clothes they sell”.