Amazon, Sports Direct & TK Maxx accused of “shocking” lack of sustainability action

Many retailers have been accused of “greenwashing”, when a company spends more on marketing themselves as environmentally friendly than minimising their environmental impact.
Buzzwords biodegradable, recycled and recyclable encourage shoppers to purchase.
// 16 retailers under investigation by the Environmental Audit Committee have been ranked by what action they’re taking to improve sustainability
// Committee leader Mary Creagh accused numerous retailers of a “shocking” lack of action
// Retailers including M&S, Primark, Tesco were ranked as those taking most action

The Environmental Audit Committee has slammed major retailers such as Amazon, Boohoo, TK Maxx and Sports Direct for “failing to take action” to reduce their environmental impact.

The committee, led by Labour MP Mary Creagh, is investigating 16 retailers to establish what measures they’re taking to reduce their environmental impact and improve sustainability in their operations.

Of the 16, Boohoo, JD Sports, Amazon, Missguided, Sports Direct and TK Maxx were named and shamed as the least committed to reducing their environmental impact.

JD Sports and Boohoo rejected the findings, stating that they did not account for the initiatives they have taken to improve sustainability.

Meanwhile M&S, Primark, Tesco, Asos and Burberry were found to be most engaged, and with the exception of Burberry, all used organic or sustainable cotton and recycled material in their products as well as having in store take-back schemes.

Debenhams, Next, Arcadia and Asda were ranked as moderately engaged, meaning they have taken some steps to improve their sustainability.

The study asked each retailer about a range of actions including limiting the discharge of hazardous chemicals in their supply chain, re-using or recycling unsold stock and the use of sustainable materials.

“We want to see a thriving fashion industry that employs people fairly, inspires creativity and contributes to the economic success of the UK,” Creagh said.

“It’s shocking to see that a group of major retailers are failing to take action to promote environmental sustainability and protect their workers.

“It’s disappointing that only a third of the retailers we wrote to are signed up to ACT, an important global initiative working towards getting a living wage for all garment workers.

“By publishing this information, customers can choose whether they want to spend money with a company that is doing little to protect the environment or promote proper wages for garment workers.

“We hope this motivates underperforming retailers to start taking responsibility for their workers and their environmental impact.”

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