H&M, Gap and Marks & Spencer are backing a scheme which will allow clothing to be globally labelled with tags showing individual garments’ environmental impact.

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According to the Financial Times the scheme would calculate the effect clothing has on the environment from production to usage. Companies said to be backing the scheme include Gap, Levi Strauss, Nike, Marks & Spencer, Adidas, Walmart and H&M.

One example of the idea would be to draw up a set of indices covering areas such as energy used or what degree of toxic chemicals were used in the manufacturing process. Other ideas include looking at the impact of discarding clothes.  Labels would be attached to clothing to inform consumers on how the clothing impacts the environment.

Alex Tomey, vice president of product development for clothing at US retailer Walmart told the Financial Times: “No one company has got all the answers in terms of pulling together the correct way of measuring all the variables involved which is why we decided on a collaborative approach. “