The UK’s largest online fashion retailers have been called on by the environmental audit committee at the House of Commons to provide evidence on their sustainability initiatives.
Amazon, Boohoo, Missguided, PrettyLittleThing and Asos were requested by Mary Creagh MP, chair of the environmental audit committee, to provide a range of information.
In letters that have been published today, the retailers were asked about the life-cycle of their garments, staff wages and their respective strategies for reducing their environmental and social impacts.
The companies, whose responses will be released publicly one they’re received, were dragged into the spotlight last month when the committee heard evidence suggesting that some retailers were forcing British clothing factories to pay workers illegally low wages.
“Our recent evidence hearing raised alarm bells about the fast-growing online-only retail sector,” Creagh said.
“Low-quality £5 dresses aimed at young people are said to be made by workers on illegally low wages and are discarded almost instantly, causing mountains of non-recycled waste to pile up.”
“We will be calling some of these online retailers in front of the committee to answer questions, but, in the mean time, my letters encourage them to face up to the social and environmental consequences of their business models.
“We want to know that they are fully compliant with employment law, that garments have a decent lifespan, and that profit is not put before environmental damage.”