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6 May 2020

EU: 65 civil society organisations publish joint strategy for sustainable textile supply chains as Commission is set to new develop 'Textile Strategy'

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In April 2020, a coalition of 65 civil society organisations put forward a joint shadow European Strategy for Sustainable Textile, Garments, Leather and Footwear, in which they propose a set of legislative and non-legislative actions for more sustainable supply chains post COVID-19, and urge the Commission, MEPs, governments and other stakeholders to work towards such a strategy. The release follows a commitment made by the Commission in its Circular Economy Action Plan (p. 13) to develop a comprehensive EU Strategy for Textiles.

Recommendations on what such a strategy should encompass include, among others:

- A legal obligation for companies to take responsibility for not only their own activities but their whole supply chain through an EU due diligence law

- Stricter environmental rules and

- Ensuring brands and retailers are legally obliged to honour contracts and end the culture of unfair purchasing practices.

The full shadow strategy is available below. MEPs Delara Burkhardt, Heidi Hautala, and Helmut Scholz in a joint letter addressed to all MEPs shared their support for the civil society strategy, and on 3 June, a group of 53 MEPs sent a letter to Commissioners Sinkevičius, Hogan, Reynders, and Urpilainen endorsing the civil society’s approach to rethinking the global textile value chains, also available below.

On 30 March 2022, the European Commission presented its strategy for sustainable and circular textiles to tackle the fashion industry's social and environmental impacts. More information is available here.