Wellington's Liberal Democrat candidate for parliament has called for an end to 'fast fashion' and for more people to buy from British firms like the Fox Brothers in Wellington.
Fast fashion describes cheap, often imported clothing, which can have a short lifespan. Speaking at the Lib Dem's conference in Bournemouth, Wellington's local candidate Gideon warned of the environmental impact of chucking cheap clothes. He said:
“The role that ever-faster fashion plays in our environment needs to be better understood. Microfibres from thousands of tons of clothes are discarded into our rivers and oceans where they’re ingested by plankton and fish.
“But even more - in fact another 39,000 tons of our discarded clothes - are added every year to a mega dump in Chile’s Atacama Desert, so large it is visible from space.
“Let’s instead see a renaissance in great, high quality British clothing firms like Wellington’s Fox Brothers and the Merchant Fox where we buy clothes as long-term investments in quality clothing that lasts a lifetime.”
But the area's Conservative MP, Rebecca Pow, hit back - saying her party were leading the way on the issue of tackling waste. She said: "When it comes to taking action on waste, only the Conservatives are delivering. We are doing this through a wide range of policies to move to a circular economy and through setting an environmental target in law to halve the amount of waste that goes to landfill or incineration.
"And we are pressing ahead with other measures including the plastic packaging tax, and banning the export of recycling materials to non-OECD. And through our Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme manufacturers will be responsible for the packaging they place on the market which will cut waste and drive circularity and this will extend to a wide range of products following the initial focus on packaging.
"In terms of textiles we recently published our new programme Maximising Resources, Minimising Waste. This includes policy options to tackle fast fashion, keeping textiles out of landfill and in circulation for longer through reuse and recycling, policies include proposals to ban textile waste from going into landfill; requiring clothing retailers to provide in-store take-back of unwanted textiles; as well as asking businesses to separate textiles waste for reuse and recycling.
"This Government has also committed to continuing to fund Textiles 2030, the UK Sustainable Textile Action Plan. Through this plan businesses handling 62 per cent of clothing placed on the UK market have committed to halving their carbon footprint and cutting their water footprint by 30 per cent. So, whilst we are acting on cutting waste, as usual the Lib Dems just talk.”