A report from the Changing Markets Foundation has revealed the progress made by high street fashion retailers and clothing brands towards cleaner viscose production.
Viscose is a most commonly used textile fibre across the globe, which can be damaging to the environment if not produced responsibly.
The report has identified that viscose manufacturers and suppliers were dumping toxic wastewater in lakes and waterways, destroying subsistence agriculture and fisheries.
In the wake of this devastating impact, seven major retailers such as Inditex, ASOS, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Tesco, Esprit, and C&A have joined the cause and committed to clean up their viscose supply chain, the report noted.
Other leading retailers such as Arcadia Group have engaged with the campaign, but are yet to announce policies relating to viscose, as well as provide any transparency about their supply chain.
However, luxury brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Chanel, along with low-cost retailers such as Asda, Lidl, and online brands Boohoo and Missguided, are yet to take part in the viscose-cleaning process.
Changing Markets Foundation campaign manager Natasha Hurley said: “After many years of complacency from fashion brands and producers with regard to the environmental impacts of viscose manufacturing, the tide is finally beginning to turn towards more responsible production methods.
“But the unlikely bedfellows of luxury brands and discount retailers continue to ignore an issue that is blighting people’s lives and the environment.
“What’s more, most luxury fashion brands are failing to publicly disclose supply chain information. This is unacceptable. It’s time for them to wake up to consumers’ desire for more transparency and more sustainable fashion.”
According to a research conducted this month by YouGov on behalf of Changing Markets, around 30% of the 2,000 Great Britain adult shoppers surveyed consider luxury brands to be sustainable compared to13% for low-cost brands.
The research also revealed that 60% of the shoppers chose to stop buying clothes from a fashion retailer if they come to know that the brand was using materials that damage the environment or impact communities.