Sustainable Clothing Action Plan

The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) brings together clothing retailers, brands, suppliers, local authority representatives, recyclers, charities, trade bodies and the public sector to reduce the environmental footprint of clothing.

Key points

  • Clothing contributes around 5% of the carbon footprint and between 6-8% of the water footprint of all the UK’s goods and services. 
  • It also accounts for more than 1 million tonnes of wasted materials each year.
  • Companies representing over 40% of UK clothing sales have signed up to the SCAP 2020 commitment.
  • Allied to the SCAP is the Love Your Clothes campaign – a series of materials aimed better care of clothing (upcycling and repair) and re-use of ‘preloved’ items.

Sustainable Clothing Action Plan

SCAP brings together industry, government and the third sector with the aim reduce the environmental footprint of clothing. 

Signatories and Supporters 

Signatories (retailers, charities and recyclers) are delivering carbon, water and waste footprint reductions through improvement actions e.g. choice of fibre, amount of clothing collected and re-used. Signatories are also seeking to influence consumer behaviour through consistent and co-ordinated delivery of consumer information and the Love Your Clothes campaign.

Supporters (such as sector bodies and NGOs) are promoting good practice in the industry and helping deliver consumer information.

Working groups

SCAP is overseen by a Steering Group and four working groups:

  1. Design for Clothing Life
  2. Re-use & Recycling
  3. Influencing consumer behaviours 
  4. Metrics

Work carried out by the re-use and recycling and the influencing consumer behaviours working groups may be of interest to local authorities. In particular this work has led to the Love Your Clothes campaign materials.

Guidance

As a result of SCAP, resources are being developed to act as guidance for those wanting to implement resource efficiency practices.

The SCAP Knowledge Hub showcases new initiatives, processes and technologies which can reduce the environmental impact of clothing. 

SCAP 2020 Commitment

The SCAP 2020 Commitment sees leading organisations from across the clothing sector – supply, re-use and recycling – working together to reduce the environmental footprint of clothing.  

The 2020 Commitment (which includes collective footprint reduction targets for the sector) will sit alongside other sector initiatives, such as the Ethical Trading Initiative, the Greenpeace ‘Detox’ commitment and the work of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition on supply chain monitoring, and will support the UK Governments’ policy objectives on carbon emissions, waste prevention, zero waste and reduction in ecological footprint.