Fast fashion defends itself against British parliament
Representatives from Marks&Spencer, Arcadia, Primark, Boohoo, Missguided and Asos were gathered yesterday at the Lower House to talk about the system’s social and environmental impact in front of the Environmental Auditing Committee.
Mary Creagh, president of the research committee
Fast Fashion defends its own model against the British Parliament. Representatives from Marks&Spencer, Arcadia, Primark, Boohoo, Missguided and Asos were gathered yesterday at the Lower House to talk about the system’s social and environmental impact in front of the Environmental Auditing Committee. After several examinations were concluded, the committee was visibly disappointed by the answers obtained and by their lack of clarity.
The committee’s president who is carrying out the research, Mary Creagh, claimed that the evidence heard “justify our own concerns on fair salary and sustainability”
Creagh pointed out that Marks&Spencer, despite having a good position regarding social responsibility, did not give a clear answer on matters such as collective negotiation.
Boohoo’s answer on the labour conditions of its workers at the Leicester factories did not convince the committee either. They also were quite rejective of the decision taken by Missguided’s general manager Nitin Passi of not going to the gathering and giving as answer a disagreement to a process considered unfair by the company, according to WWD.
The committee was visibly disappointed at the answers provided by the representatives of some British fashion retailers
Paul Smith, product manager, assisted as a representative of Missguided. He explained to the committee that they produced about 30% of its articles at Leicester and that they have increased the control inside factories so they can make sure that everything is going fine and working as it should.
Primark’s spokesperson, Paul Lister, was asked about how could he defend sustainability coming from a system which sold clothing items for less than three pounds. The executive replied that not spending money at advertising and having extremely adjusted margins. Jamie Beck, Arcadia’s spokesperson, also pointed out that the group designs clothes that should last long, and that they are not made to be used one season only.
Last June, the British Parliament created this committee to analyse the impact of the fashion industry, putting into question the social and environmental viability of fast fashion’s system. The House of Commons took this step after the publication of a report which revealed that every year, about 300,000 tons of clothes were thrown out to dumping sites, the equivalent to a dump truck full of clothes each and every second.
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