Calling the fashion police on textile waste

Two local MSPs are urging people in East Lothian to think of the environment and not use ‘fast fashion’ when buying last minute Christmas gifts.

Iain Gray MSP and Claudia Beamish MSP visited the ‘Miixer’ Zero Waste Hub in Dunbar to highlight their call for people to think about the environmental impact of clothes this Christmas.

Fast fashion is low quality clothing that is thrown away after a few wears. The textile industry accounts for eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The UK is particularly bad for fast fashion, consuming almost 27kg of new clothing per head per year – compared to only 9kg in France.

With global clothing production doubling since 2000, fast fashion has a huge impact on our planet. For example, it takes 700 gallons of water to make one t-shirt – that is the equivalent of three years’ drinking water for your average person.

Speaking after their visit to the Zero Waste Hub, local MSP Iain Gray said:

“Dunbar has been at the forefront of the zero waste movement in Scotland, being named the first zero waste town in 2014. That pioneering project had a significant and lasting impact on the town, and lives on in initiatives such as the Zero Waste Hub.

“That positive track record makes Dunbar a fitting place to highlight the importance of promoting sustainable fashion and being more conscious of textile waste.

“Places like the Miixer project exist in locations across Scotland, playing an important role in moving away from “fast fashion” and helping reduce the negative impact environmental impact of clothing.”

South of Scotland MSP and Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Claudia Beamish said:

“The festive season is the time to get your glad rags on and you may look to fashion for presents for loved ones.

“Many of us are used to being mindful about recycling Christmas cards and wrapping paper – but we are more blasé about fast fashion and textile waste. But we should all consider more sustainable options when planning party wear and gifts this winter.

“Scottish Labour has set the ambitious target for Scotland of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and a shift to a more circular economy will be an important step. The Miixer Zero Waste Hub in Dunbar is an inspiring example of what we can do now to cut down on emissions.

“The Scottish Government needs to face this mounting problem, and set a strategy to promote sustainable fashion and stop clothing going to landfill altogether. Let’s put “fast fashion” out of style.”

Susan Guy, a Director of Miixer CIC, said:

“Miixer CIC’s ‘Big Pick’ initiatives aim to alleviate local clothing poverty, create jobs and significantly reduce co2 emissions by keeping textile waste local. Our waste is our resource.”