SCAP 2020 Commitment

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

Doing Good Business - tackling the carbon, water and waste impacts of clothing

SCAP 2020 signatories

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There are 87 organisations signed up to the SCAP 2020 Commitment. 

Signatories represent 65% of clothes sold in the UK by volume and 54% by sales value and include a number of collectors, recyclers and charities. 

The clothing sector is ‘looking good’ – great progress against SCAP targets

Figures released in 2015 show that retailers, brands and organisations from across the clothing supply chain have reduced water impacts by a significant 12.5% per tonne of clothing, against a 15% reduction target by 2020. They are also making encouraging progress to cut carbon impacts, having achieved a 3.5% reduction per tonne of clothing against a 15% reduction target. Find out more by reading the press release.


SCAP signatories commitment to take action

Signatories and supporters of the SCAP 2020 Commitment have pledged to play their part in reducing the carbon, waste and water footprints of clothing they supply or receive in the UK by 15%, starting from a baseline year of 2012.

The Commitment is delivered through the direct actions of signatories and with the help of supporters, and through consumer action which we will seek to influence. Signatories and supporters pledge to adopt good practice in relevant Action Areas and measure and report annually on outcomes.

See: Signatory Measuring and Reporting and Supporter Measuring and Reporting.

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SCAP 2020 targets

Starting from a baseline year of 2012, SCAP Signatories have committed to:

  • 15% reduction in carbon footprint;
  • 15% reduction in water footprint;
  • 15% reduction in waste to landfill; and
  • 3.5% reduction in waste arising over the whole product life-cycle.

The reduction is measured per tonne of clothing. The carbon and water impacts are measured as footprints over the whole product life-cycle.  

These targets are challenging. After transport, utilities, construction, and food, the clothing industry represents the fifth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK industry.

By meeting the SCAP targets, we could expect to save:

  • More than 1,200,000 tCO2e per year – equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions of nearly 250,000 cars.
  • 420,000,000m3 of water per year – equivalent to more than 160,000 Olympic sized swimming pools
  • Over 16,000 tonnes of waste arising.

Consumer action is crucial to meeting the new SCAP targets, which is why we’ve developed Love Your Clothes

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The seven action areas of the commitment

1. Use a common assessment tool to measure our baseline position and track changes in footprint over time.

2. Reduce the environmental footprint of clothing through fibre and fabric selection.

3. Over the longer term, work with our supply chain partners to reduce the environmental footprint of their processes.

4. Extend the useful life of clothes and reduce the environmental impact of clothing in use through our product design and services.

5. Develop effective messaging to influence key consumer behaviours which will reduce the environmental footprint of clothing.

6. Increase re-use and recycling to recover maximum value from used clothing.

7. Develop actions that help keep clothes out of landfill.

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