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UK institute advocates action to control textile pollution

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers an influential UK-based association has called on the textile sector to clean up its act with a new eight-page report that urges government intervention – in partnership with industry – to develop new solutions to problems such as textile microfibre pollution, the creation of excessive waste and the reduction in the carbon footprint of the apparel sector.

The report ‘Engineering Out Fashion’ waste recommends three priority areas for action from the UK government. It specifically calls for public and private investment partnerships to provide incentives for the development of more environmentally friendly fibers. It also urges the government to work with the fashion industry and manufacturers to develop a comprehensive framework to tackle ‘green washing’, or false sustainability claims.

In particular, the institution calls for ‘urgent action’ to tackle the waste produced over the lifecycle of an item of clothing. This includes: addressing water-intensive processes during manufacturing, such as removing excess dyes, and tackling the problem of disposing off a garment at the end of its life. The report highlights garment aftercare affects an item’s carbon footprint and advocates individuals to wash their clothes at a lower temperature, use mesh laundry bags to catch threads, rely on tumble dryers less often or install filters on washing machine waste pipes.