Clothing waste: Does NZ need a tax on fast fashion?
Last week the Australian Fashion Council launched Seamless, a voluntary product stewardship scheme which imposes a 4 cent levy on each garment. Funds raised from the levy will be used to tackle the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of textile waste sent to landfill every year. Six major retailers have signed up to Seamless, and Environment Minister Tanya Pilbersek has given the industry 12 months to sign up or face regulation.
Here in Aotearoa, textile waste is a huge – and fast-growing – problem too, with an estimated 220,000 tonnes ending up in landfill each year. Jacinta FitzGerald, Chief Executive of Mindful Fashion, told Checkpoint that New Zealander's throw out about 8kg of clothing waste per person each year – equivalent to one coat, five pairs of pants, five T-shirts, a pair of shoes and a bag of socks.
So does Aotearoa need a levy to deal with clothing waste? Jacinta FitzGerald spoke to Lisa Owen.