2023 is being a year of important legislative initiatives in the European Union (EU) and its Member States, for the fashion and textile industries. As part of the European Green Deal (Plan set in 2020 to introduce new legislation on the circular economy, building renovation, biodiversity, farming and innovation), the EU has recently proposed new rules to end up with the current model of “fast fashion”.
The end of overproduction and overconsumption
The business model consisting in selling high volumes of lower quality garments at low price levels may no longer be an option in the upcoming EU legal framework. The EU intends to generate less waste and incentive reusing. Products will have to be made of as much recycled fibres as possible and be free of hazardous substances. They must be more durable, easier to reuse and recycle.
There is no option for destruction
Sometimes, unused or returned textiles are destroyed, following market objectives. New rules proposed by the EU call for a mandatory minimum use of recycled fibres by 2030 and would ban the destruction of many unsold products. The EU wants to avoid that microplastics and microfibres ends up in nature as much as possible.
Pursuing the above-mentioned, Delara Burkhardt, Member of the EU Parliament stated: “if we allow the market to self-regulate, we leave the doors open for a fast fashion model that exploits people and the planet’s resources. The EU must legally oblige manufacturers and large fashion companies to operate more sustainably.”
Sustainability and human rights
To ensure fairness in global supply chains, new legislation will stand for human rights, social rights, labor rights, the environment and animal welfare must be respected throughout the production chain. The goal is to hold companies accountable to help EU fashion and textile companies to protect human rights in their supply chains.