UK Lawmakers Propose Fast Fashion Tax

In an effort to combat the Titanic-sinking-sized iceberg that is the world’s fashion waste problem, a group of British lawmakers recently proposed a national fast fashion tax that would specifically fund clothing waste collection.

As reported by Reuters, the tax – which would be a British penny per garment, charged to “brands and retailers” — was recommended by a cross-party group after an eight-month inquiry into the “throwaway fashion” problem that sends “300,000 tons of textile waste… to landfill or incinerators in the UK every year.”

As the story noted, the British “buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe,” and though the 32 billion pound ($41 billion) industry employs 890,000 people in the UK, “charities, scientists and academics raised concerns during the inquiry that fast fashion… was unsustainable.”

And it is — the entire “accelerated business model” relies on people buying suspiciously priced clothes at irresponsible frequencies, necessitating caustic, unwieldily volumes of production. Thus “fashion retailers must take responsibility for the clothes they produce,” said the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee.

But the committee didn’t stop at recommending the tax, they also “called on the government to implement tax reforms to reward companies that design products with less environmental impact” and pushed for lower sales tax on repair services.

“The government must act to end the era of throwaway fashion by incentivizing companies that offer sustainable designs and repair services,” the Chair said.

You can read more about it at Reuters.

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