88% of UK fast fashion contains new plastics

A study from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) has found that the vast majority of UK fast fashion contains new plastics.

The RSA analysed more than 10,000 items of clothing from across some of the UK’s leading fast fashion brands, finding that as much of 88 per cent of recently listed items contain new plastics on some websites.

The research also discovered that online stores have been slow to adopt recycled materials in their clothing. In some stores, just 1 per cent of items contained recycled materials.

The RSA warned that fast fashion shoppers may not even be aware of the amount of plastics they are buying. Previous research from the London-based organisation suggests that just half of those who shop at fast fashion websites say they regularly buy clothes containing synthetic materials, despite plastics being very prevalent in online stores.

The RSA also accused companies of ‘greenwashing’ their images by producing small sustainable ranges, while the bulk of their output is still made from petrochemicals.

“Some companies have a mountain to climb if they are to meet their own sustainability targets,” the organisation warned.

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