Report Review - WRAP UK Clothing Consumption & Repairing in the Fashion Industry

Sustainable Clothing Consumption & Repairing the (UK) Fashion Industry Fashion Aftermath

Report ReviewWRAP

  • The organisation behind WRAP is a waste and resources action programme registered in the UK as a charity (No. 115912)
  • What they do
  • Collections and recycling
  • In 2019, the UK government committed a fund of 4.7 GBP towards hard-to-recycle materials (Gov.UK, 2019)

UK Clothing Consumption & Repairing in the Fashion Industry.

Stage of a garment´s life - Production to disposal

Textile Life cycle production to disposal fashion aftermath


The mentioned report above discusses observations like a higher rate of clothing purchases in recent years. At the same time, consumers do not keep clothing for time as in earlier times.

Year 2016: There has been a decrease of 8.29% in tons of carbon generated, which accumulates to 23.2 tons. When comparing all processes of a garment´s lifecycle the ranking shows that extraction, washing spinning, processing to fiber, and dying has the highest carbon footprint.

The same Diagram on page 12 ´Figure 1: Carbon footprint of clothing in the UK (t CO2e) in 2016, by process´ notes some processes that have reverse outcomes. For example, Weaving, Making Up, Re-Use in the UK, Re-use Overseas and Recycling are in fact reducing the footprint of textiles.

Apart from those opportunities within the supply chain, there are currently more activities measured supporting higher carbon contributors.

´Taking Stock: UK Clothing Consumption´ Table 1, p. 9

Clothing Type

Forecasted Lifetime in years
















Data from ´SCAP Sustainable Textiles Consumer Tracker Survey´, (2015) Respondents Q16.

  • 1,130,000 tons of textiles has been purchased in the UK
  • How much water is used for 1 kg of Cotton? (WRAP, 2017)

Environmental Impact of The UK Fashion Industry 

Environmental impact fashion industry UK


We have looked up some other resources for you, because not only businesses need to progress with sustainability efforts. Also, consumers have to rethink their buying decisions and be well-informed about what Is happening behind warehouses and social media glamour.

The house of commons Environmental Audit Committee has published a long report in 2019 named  ´FIXING FASHION: clothing consumption and sustainability´. The way we produce, use, and discard clothing is not environmentally friendly.

The production of textiles uses quantities of freshwater equivalent to lakes, produces pollution from chemicals, and contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping put together.

Fish, shellfish, and Arctic Sea ice, contain synthetic fibers. The garments production taking place in nations with low wages, scant union representation, and weak protection of the environment.

Poverty wages and working conditions are typical in many nations. For the majority-female industry of garment workers.

Additionally, we are concerned about the usage of bonded labor, forced labor, forced labor in prisons, child labor, and supply chain for clothing.

Globalisation comes in hand with overproduction and consumption of fast fashion contributing to the variety of issues mentioned above (Environmental Audit Committee, 2019).

The UK Buys More Fashion Than Any Other EU Country

UK Buys more fashion than any other EU country


Compared to other nations in Europe, we purchase most clothing per person actually in the UK.

The market is oversupplied with used apparel, which is driving down the cost of used textiles.

Anything that cannot be sold is destroyed and used as insulation and mattress filling.

Nevertheless, each year, 300,000 tonnes of textile waste are disposed or sent to a landfill or a fire pit.

Approximately 1% of the materials used to make garments are recyclable into new garments.

Retailers are simultaneously burning fresh unsellable inventory simply to protect their brand (Environmental Audit Committee, 2019).

The Need For a Circular Economy – Fashion Industry

Initiatives for voluntary corporate social responsibility have largely failed to cut waste or enhance compensation and working conditions.

The sustainability warnings from science are stern. Climate change and excessive consumption are causing a global extinction.

A new economic model is required for the fashion industry to survive. The status quo is no longer effective.

The legislation ought to be changed to oblige businesses to do supply chain due diligence audits (Environmental Audit Committee, 2019).

The Future of Fashion & Possible Solutions for Business

  • Innovation is needed from fashion designers & brands
  • Proposed UK tax on virgin plastics in 2022 – applied to textile products containing less than 50% plastic
  • The government needs to limit the operational freedom of fast fashion brand
  • Companies should be rewarded for sustainable efforts
  • A charge of just 1p can create a fund of 35.000.000 GBP to be invested in improved clothing & sorting
  • Progress towards the pledge for the textile industry to be achieved by 2025 are way too slow

The Fashion Industry UK Economy Data

Fashion industry UK Economy


In the UK, the textile sector is huge and is expected to grow throughout the next couple of years.

With a forecasted revenue of 51.47 bn USD in year 2022 the fashion industry is an important contributor to the British economy.

The number of users to be expected in year 2027 may rise to 51.000.000 just in this region.

Apart from market growth, it should be mentioned that the e-commerce segment within the fashion industry will overtake brick and mortar sales (B2C) (Statista, 2022)

In comparison to other European nations, we purchase more clothing per person in the UK.

In 2017, the fashion industry contributed £32 billion to the UK economy. This represented a rise of 5.4% over 2016 and a growth rate that was 1.6% greater than the national average.

There are approximately 890,000 people in the UK being are employed by the sector in retail, manufacturing, branding, and fashion design enterprises.

Between 2003 and 2013, the worldwide garment, fashion, and luxury business outpaced all other market indices in terms of profitability, "outpacing even high-growth sectors like technology and telecommunications," according to consultants McKinsey (Environmental Audit Committee, 2019).

Some UK high street stores have struggled recently due to online competition, yet UK manufacturing is growing.

Fashion Aftermath´s Fashion Operations Are Net Zero in a Textile´s Life-cycle.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the underutilization and lack of recycling of garments results in a loss of value of more than $500 billion annually.

The consumption of clothing worldwide is expected to increase by 63% by 2030, from 62 million tonnes.

According to the UN, by 2050 it may be necessary to use the energy of nearly three planets, which we simply do not have.

Given the increase in demand for natural resources to support existing lifestyles, worldwide population.

The United Kingdom joined the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015. SDG 12's commitment to ensuring sustainable consumption and other objectives patterns of production.


Environmental Audit Committee (2019). Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability - Report Summary - Environmental Audit Committee. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Oct. 2022].


Thank You For Reading

At Fashion Aftermath we care about your fashion!

As you may noticed, at Fashion Aftermath, everything is around fashion. Makes sense? Clothing is unsurprisingly a main feature of our all-daily life. Usually, you would not leave the house without putting on a dress. Fashion also has psychological importance, as it is a form to express your personality. It is even a sign of celebration if you remember back to the prom dress you wore on your graduation day.

Throughout the last decades, fashion took a massive downfall... not financially, as the market is still growing, but in sense of its impact on the environment. Fashion design of the modern age is not sustainable and merely focuses on terms like a circular economy. Fast fashion is underlined by tons of plastic production and use, let´s not forget micro plastic that enters your body while wearing cheap garments for a whole day.

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