Selfridges give customers bags made from recycled plastic bottles

Selfridges is now giving customers clothes bags made from recycled plastic bottles.

The covers have been supplied by Jutexpo, an eco-friendly reusable bag company, and have been made using an innovative process to recycle plastic bottles into fabric.

The covers are available in small, medium and large and each one is made using seven, eight and 12 plastic bottles respectively.

They have been rolled out in-store since the beginning of January and are now available in all Selfridges stores. The retailer expects the first six months of garment covers will result in more than 222,000 plastic bottles being recycled from post-consumer waste.

Daniella Vega, Selfridges sustainability director said: ‘As signatories to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Global Commitment on plastics, Selfridges is delighted to support new innovation that slows plastic pollution – and this garment bag is a great way of sharing this message with our customers and brand partners.’

Jutexpo was formed by father and son Barrie and Sam Turner after they spotted a gap in the market for reusable bags made out of Jute to minimise plastic bag usage.

Robbie McGregor, director of Jutexpo, said: ‘As far as we are aware, this is the first time in the world that post-consumer plastic bottles have been used to create garment covers, reducing plastic waste and giving plastic bottles another useful purpose rather than ending up in landfill, incineration and uncontrollable waste streams.

‘We are delighted to be working with Selfridges on this project, which is tackling the issues around plastic bottles and the ways in which they can be repurposed in a meaningful way.’

Last week, leading fashion retailers across the UK were accused of a ‘shocking’ lack of commitment towards environmental sustainability by a House of Commons committee.

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) analysed sixteen UK fashion retailers (not including Selfridges), asking what they are doing to reduce the environmental and social impact of their businesses.

In an interim report, the EAC found several retailers to be trailing behind the rest of the fashion industry with JD Sports, Sports Direct, Amazon UK and Boohoo the worst offenders.

The Parliamentary Committee found that of the retailers above, none had signed up to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) – the industry-led plan to reduce carbon, water or waste – or the international ACT initiative concerning living wages for textile workers.

Chair of the EAC, Mary Creagh, said: ‘We want to see a thriving fashion industry that employs people fairly, inspires creativity and contributes to the economic success of the UK.

‘It’s shocking to see that a group of major retailers are failing to take action to promote environmental sustainability and protect their workers.’

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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