A throwaway clothing culture is killing the planet, according to sustainable fashion experts.

A panel of top designers, including former Vogue fashion editors, and stylists whose clients include Scarlett Johansson and Carrie Johnson, said the way we buy and use clothing has to change.

Overconsumption, exploitative labour and discarding items after a short time is hurting workers, depleting resources and increasing unnecessary waste, they stated.

From cheap, mass produced clothes to free returns and exploiting workers, they argued the fashion industry needs to change or be forced to change.

At a discussion in Glasgow at the Ovo Extreme Hangout, COP 26 fringe event on the Renfrew Ferry, the experts all denounced the fast fashion culture as environmentally unsound and exploitative of cheap, mostly foreign labour.

Mary Fellows, stylist who “dressed” Scarlett Johansson at the Oscars, said: "Fashion is undoubtedly toxic for the planet.”

She said that legislation was needed to ensure better practice.

She added: “Take food, with labelling you know what you are putting in your mouth but not what you’re putting on your body.”

She said some goods labeled as natural fibre are likely the result of deforestation.

She added that "in Ghana there are stinking mountains of old clothes rotting away" that the west has thrown out, thinking it's being recycled.

Kresse Wesling, whose firm makes products from salvaged fire hoses, said: “Free returns is a problem. A lot of this ends up being destroyed. I won’t buy from anywhere that offers this service.”

Sacha Newall, whose My Wardrobe HQ, Carrie Johnson bought her wedding dress from, said: "If something is £5.99 on the High Street, it costs £2 to ship it here, another pound to get it on the rail and, with other costs, then the person who made it is probably on slave wages."

Shoppers were asked to consider the impact of their purchases and what they are funding.

Bay Garnett, ex of Vogue and a vintage stylist said: "How do we judge a successful business? It's all about money. Think about where your money is going.

"Is it giving some white billionaire even more money and exploiting people and the planet?

"It's about thinking about what you buy and try to buy less."

She said that 13million items a week are going to landfill.

Glasgow based Siobhan McKenna advocates repair and reuse and runs a repair service and upcycles clothing into new items.

She said: "If a brand is producing billions of goods it is not sustainable. If it's owned by a white billionaire, they don't need any more money. Sustainability is not just about fabric, it's about what you pay people too."

She also called for skills like sewing to be re-introduced to schools.

She added: "A lot of clothes are going to landfill because people don't know how to stitch a hem or sew on a button. We can make something new from something old."

Dr Naomi Bailey-Cooper, research fellow at the British Fashion Council said mass production was adding to the problem.

She said: "We need to be producing less stuff. We have so much products flowing in our systems."

And she warned that products that appear ethical are often not.

She added: "The fur industry is not good but synthetic fur is made from petrochemicals, it's not an ideal solution. Do we need a fake verison of something anyway." 

The panel was in discussion at the 'Green is the new black event' at the Ovo Energy Extreme Hangout, part of COP 26 .

More details of the events are here at Extreme Hangout

Events are at the Renfw Ferry on the Clyde at Broomielaw.