Scraps from clothes made for Clarks, Next and River Island are being illegally burnt, creating toxic pollution, an investigation has found.
The British fashion chains are among global brands accused of ‘rank hypocrisy’ after the revelation that their garment offcuts are being incinerated in giant plastic bags, emitting poisonous fumes.
Fabric, labels or scraps belonging to nine major companies were among hundreds of tons of textiles being burnt at warehouses in Cambodia.
A joint investigation by the Daily Mail and Unearthed, Greenpeace’s journalism arm, reveals how warehouses are burning the rags for fuel as it is cheaper than wood. Scraps and labels belonging to Nike, Reebok, H&M, Michael Kors, Diesel, and Ralph Lauren were also found among the mountain of offcuts waiting to be incinerated.
Images show workers amid towering waste while others reveal labourers stoking the flames of the kilns with the fashion offcuts although it is illegal to burn factory waste in Cambodia.
Scraps from clothes made for Clarks, Next and River Island are being illegally burnt, creating toxic pollution. Pictured: A labourer putting a bag in a red-hot kiln
Last night campaigners and MPs urged the brands to take immediate action.
Tory MP Philip Dunne, chairman of the environmental audit committee, said the findings are ‘deeply troubling and pose major questions to some of the UK’s biggest clothing brands’.
Dr Laurie Parsons, of Royal Holloway, University of London, who has previously investigated the issue, claims poor regulation means companies can ‘get the green pound from looking green’ without doing the work.
The garment offcuts are being incinerated in giant plastic bags. Pictured: Workers in Cambodia sort through bags of