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Peers criticise 'fast fashion'

The House of Lords Science Committee has condemned the British fashion industry for encouraging a "throwaway society".

A highly critical report attacked the culture of "fast fashion" yesterday as the committee urged ministers to do more to cut Britain's mountains of commercial and domestic waste.

Peers warned that cheap fashions "encourage consumers to dispose of clothes which have only been worn a few times in favour of new, cheap garments which themselves will also go out of fashion and be discarded within a matter of months". The House of Lords committee also bemoaned the growth of electronic goods which are thrown away even though they still work.

It called on ministers to cut VAT rates for goods made from sustainable materials and said that tax should also be reduced for repairs to encourage people to keep their consumer goods longer.