Fashion waste is predicted to cost the UK economy £4.48bn by 2050 if the industry doesn’t clean up its act and bolster its recycling efforts, new data has found.
The global fashion industry is responsible for 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions and a loss of more than £414bn every year as a result of wasted clothing, research from direct lender Money Boat has found.
A total of 73% of old clothing items are sent to landfill or are incinerated each year, equating to 2,625kg of wasted clothing. To manufacture they would produce 600,000kg of CO2 emissions. In 2015 this waste represented a global loss of more than £82.8bn.
If clothing consumption rises in line with GDP projections, as many as 2.48 trillion fashion items will be produced over the next 30 years.
Recycling the estimated 148 million tonnes of global fashion waste between now and 2050 would free up £3.7bn for the global economy by 2030. Reducing projected GHG emissions by 2.8 billion tons of CO2 emissions per year would save £62bn over the next 10 years.
The UN Alliance has called for coordinated action towards tackling social and environmental issues in the clothing industry, including responsible resource use, equal pay for garment workers and improved recycling efforts.