Data support for Sustainable Clothing Action Programme signatories

SCAP (Sustainable Clothing Action Programme) is a voluntary commitment made by stakeholders in the textile industry – including brands and retailers representing more than 48 per cent of UK clothing sales volume – to collectively reduce the environmental impacts of the garments they produce.

Working closely with SCAP signatories, Resource Futures analysed and prepared three SCAP signatories’ 2020 sales data for inclusion in WRAP’s 2021 SCAP Progress Report.

Objectives

The objectives for each retailer were to deliver to WRAP:

  • A ‘footprint’ report summarising the water, carbon, and waste footprint for that retailer’s sales data for 2020;
  • A summary of the fibre mix for each brand for 2020, including tonnes of each fibre, percentage each fibre represents of total SCAP fibre types, and total tonnes and percentage of sustainable fibre types used; and
  • A full dataset with calculations and a record of procedure to replicate.

“We’re proud to be supporting brands and retailers in driving sustainability action in the textile and clothing industry. Despite a very challenging year, we’re looking forward to seeing how the industry has continued to minimise its fashion footprint.”

A WRAP spokesperson

Approach

We first had to streamline sales datasets into a standardised format that isolated and quantified the mass of individual fibre types.

We worked closely with each brand to complete their SCAP review checklist, considering improved actions taken around alternative materials and fibres – such as switching from conventional cotton to Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton – and ensuring correct reporting.

Outcomes

The data preparation will directly inform WRAP’s 2021 SCAP Progress report, which has yet to be published.

In 2019, Resource Futures was also involved in the same project for the WRAP 2020 SCAP Progress Report.

Despite 2020 being a tumultuous year for textiles, particularly clothing, we were pleased to discover that despite drops in sales, the proportion of ‘sustainable fibres’ (e.g. Better Cotton Initiative, recycled polyester, organic cotton, etc.) increased compared to 2019.

It was also particularly encouraging to see that after explaining the different ‘improvement actions’ available through the SCAP programme, one retailer is currently in discussions with their suppliers to investigate the possibilities of implementing cold pad batch dyeing, a less resource-intensive process for the dyeing of fibres.

2020 also marks the final year of the SCAP programme. In April 2020, WRAP launched Textiles 2030, which set out to increase ambition and slash the impact that UK clothing has on the environment through practical interventions along the entire textiles chain.

We look forward to future work supporting clothing retailers in pursuit of more circular and sustainable business models.

Project Information

Services involved

Data and tools

Policy appraisal

Circular economy

Team involved

George Cole
UK Policy Lead, Principal Consultant

Carla Worth
Consultant

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