Sustainability

Defra and WRAP win Global Leadership Award

WRAP Defra award

(L-R) Swedish Environmental Minister Lena Ek, Director of the SFA Mike Schragger and Jennifer Decker of WRAP.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) have been awarded the 2013 Global Leadership Award in Sustainable Apparel for their work in reducing the environmental impact of clothing throughout its lifecycle.

The award, created by the Sustainable Fashion Academy (SFA), the Association of Swedish Fashion Brands and other partners, was given to Defra and WRAP in recognition of their ‘leadership’ in initiating the Sustainable Clothing Roadmap and Action Plan (SCAP), and for ‘demonstrating that government support is crucial if clothing and fashion industries are to respond successfully to global challenges, whilst significantly contribute to solving the great environmental and social challenges of this era’.

Defra’s Waste Minister, Lord de Mauley, commented:  “This award highlights our commitment to make better use of resources to improve economic growth, to reduce carbon emissions and to build a strong and sustainable economy. With 430,000 tonnes of used clothing thrown away in the UK every year, there is huge potential for both households and businesses to think differently about how we produce, use and dispose of clothes.”

Jennifer Decker, clothing specialist at WRAP, accepted the award from Swedish Environment Minister, Lena Ek, at the ceremony at Sweden’s Museum of Architecture.

Decker said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that SCAP has been recognised for the difference it’s making, and particularly so on an international level. We have been working hard with stakeholders throughout the supply chain, and by delivering SCAP through a sector commitment, which we know will be challenging but worth it, it’s going to make a real difference. 

“It’s important to point out that all this would not be possible if it were not for the collaborative efforts of our stakeholders, without them agreeing to work together on collective action we wouldn’t be where we are today - we already plan to release new tools and guidance in this area as a result of our work and that’s a really exciting prospect.”

Michael Schragger, Director of the SFA, added: “The clothing industry is influential and can lead the way towards a more sustainable society.  It is a reality of today’s world that the depletion of natural resources, destruction of the environment and existence of social injustices represent a threat to future economic growth and social wellbeing.  But this new reality also provides the opportunity to transform the way we meet our needs, for the better. Our ambition with the award is to draw attention to the most emphatic initiatives and thus hasten the process.”

The award was presented in conjunction with a workshop focusing on the work of SCAP at the Museum of Architecture, run by entrepreneurs, politicians, policy makers, environmentalists, scientists and investors.

Read more about the Sustainable Clothing Roadmap and Action Plan.