WRAP Textiles 2030: Stepping up our sustainable clothing plan
This week we’re proud to have committed to WRAP’s new Textiles 2030: Sustainable Textiles Action Plan - the most ambitious ten-year programme for clothing and textiles in the world.
At M&S, we were one of the first signatories of the former SCAP 2020, which launched nearly a decade ago. In that time, we’ve taken huge strides in our business and for our customers – from launching our clothing recycling scheme Shwopping to using 100% responsibly sourced cotton for our clothing.
But to achieve our ambitious goals we know we need to go further and faster. By being part of Textiles 2030, we can collaboratively overcome the biggest challenges in sustainable clothing and raise the bar for our standards across the sector.
According to WRAP, we buy more clothes per person in the UK than any other country in Europe – showing the importance of putting sustainability at the heart of how we design our clothes.
As part of the launch event today, I was honoured to take part in one of WRAP’s panel discussions on circular design alongside Orsola DeCastro from Fashion Revolution and Tim Cross of Plan B. I was invited to share learnings from our latest denim sustainability standards in which we use 100% responsibly sourced cotton, 86% less water and kinder chemicals.
During the session, I explained that with one in 10 pairs of jeans being bought from M&S on the high street – we wanted to develop a standard that would address our customers’ biggest sustainability concerns when shopping for their everyday style.
The first step was to convert to 100% responsibly sourced cotton, mainly through the Better Cotton Initiative, which we achieved in 2019. But we wanted to go further and look at the areas of our denim supply chain that were the most energy and water intensive. That’s why this year, we launched our new denim sustainability standards – focusing on raw materials, fabric dying and the industrial washing process (more details here).
Developing these new standards has been a two-year process of testing and learning and crucially, it’s shown us the importance of collaboration - from our teams working together right across the business, to collaborating with our suppliers and external partners such as Jeanologia. In doing so, our customers can trust that every piece of M&S denim they buy for all the family has been sourced with care.
Whilst this is just one example of how we’ve been working to make our clothes more sustainable, it demonstrates that collaborative action is key to creating impact at scale. That’s why, we’re excited to be part of the new Textiles 2030 commitment – a collaborative journey across the industry - and we can’t wait to continue sharing and learning along the way.