Online clothing retailer Boohoo has launched its first dedicated recycled clothing range in an effort to become a more sustainable business.
The "For the Future" range is comprised of 34 pieces made from recycled polyester, which the retailer says is plastic that has been directed away from landfill and repurposed to produce new yarn.
The pieces include coordinated sets, dresses and bodysuits in sizes 6-24 and prices range from £8–£25.
The range follows the likes of H&M's "Conscious" and Zara's "Join Life" lines which purport to provide more eco-friendly fashion options.
The fashion range was launched on the same day the government rejected the recommendations of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) on ending the culture of throwaway fashion.
However, Boohoo came under scrutiny in the EAC report for its ethical standards.
The committee heard claims the buying practices of some online fashion retailers including Boohoo were putting UK clothing manufacturers in a position where they can only afford to pay garment workers illegally low wages, however Boohoo denied this saying it lawfully produces affordable garments.
Boohoo says the new range is “not just a one off” and that it will continually add new collections as “the business works toward offering the customer a wider range of sustainable fashion options”.
Group Founder Carol Kane commented: "We are consistently listening to our customers and have been working on developing a recycled offering for some time."
The retailer has also partnered up with a recycling app to encourage customers to send their clothes to be recycled in return for rewards and says it has already seen up to 60,000 garments being returned each month.
Stella Claxton from the Clothing Sustainability Research Group at Nottingham Trent University, who gave evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee, said the brand’s initiative is a positive step but needs to be part of a joined-up approach to drive sustainability.
She also pointed out that plastic pollution is still an issue as recycled polyester still sheds fibres in the wash.
“It's an encouraging sign of the brand beginning to engage in sustainable clothing strategies,” she said.
“However, the problem of clothing waste driven by rising volumes and lower prices in recent years is unlikely to be addressed by these types of initiatives.”