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Government roadmap to improve clothing life cycle

To improve the sustainability of clothing during its life cycle the Government brought together members of the fashion industry and environmental groups to discuss the issue this week. Following this meeting a sustainable clothing roadmap co-ordinated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will be launched with involvement from the clothing and fashion industry. The roadmap will examine all stages of the life cycle (from raw materials to end of life) and chart the environmental and social impacts arising at each stage. It will also propose ways of limiting those impacts where most effective. Minister for Climate Change, Biodiversity and Waste Joan Ruddock said: There are plenty of examples of people in the industry already seeing sustainability as an opportunity, not a threat. There are people taking an active role in ethical sourcing, designing and producing clothing throughout the supply chain. Thats why Defra is aiming to work collaboratively with the clothing and fashion industry to improve the sustainability of clothing. Speaking at the event environmentally aware designer Katharine Hamnett said: Sustainable clothing doesnt have to be more expensive. It can be more affordable and it should be more affordable. Clothing, across its life cycle, generates a range of environmental, social and economic impacts and the growth in fast fashion and consumption has been a key factor in this. In 2006, UK clothing and textiles produced up to two million tonnes of waste, 3.1 million tonnes of CO2 and 70 million tonnes of waste water.Clothing imports into the European Union as a whole now account for 42% of the global market. In the UK only 10% of our clothing is manufactured domestically, the rest is imported.

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