THE WHAT? The European Union has announced ambitious plans in a bid to clean up textiles production, with many fashion manufacturers and importers set to face tougher rules in the crackdown, according to a report by BusinessWorld.
THE DETAILS Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius called the fashion industry the ‘new plastic’, with the EU looking to develop its green regulatory footprint worldwide.
As part of the measures, the textiles industry will have to avoid using harsh chemicals, while avoiding water waste, with draft regulations aiming to make it mandatory for clothing labels to highlight the resources used in manufacturing.
Speaking in an interview, Sinkevicius said, “We’ll definitely go into labelling. But a major thing is product policy — what is sold on the EU market.”
There will also be sustainability obligations for players in the European single market for textiles and apparel. Sinkevicius downplayed any potential conflict with importers and textile manufacturers, stating, “We will need to work with the companies and work with their value chains. Companies need to change their value chains. That’s the most important.”
THE WHY? The new draft regulations form part of the Green Deal announced last December, which aims for the EU to become the first climate-neutral continent following an economic review.
The government will step up enforcement of the new textile legislation in order to showcase the bloc’s credibility, with Sinkevicius stating that the commission will be ‘very vocal’ on implementation. However, there have been concerns raised about the effect of the new regulation on apparel companies that rely on production sites in low-cost countries such as China, Vietnam and Bangladesh.