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1 Apr 2022

Sourcing Journal

Fashion Responds to EU’s Circular Textiles Proposals

The fashion industry greeted the European Union’s so-called “fast fashion crackdown” with a mix of praise, cautious optimism and calls for greater ambition for its proposed rules on everything from product durability to end-of-life management to unsubstantiated green claims, a.k.a. greenwashing...

Despite their sweeping reach, however, the proposals “failed to capture the beating heart of the textile industry—the people who make our clothes,” said Delphine Williot, policy and research coordinator at Fashion Revolution. “In categorizing the labor of garment workers as ‘unskilled,’ this strategy fails to recognize the value of the industry’s labor. The EU’s textile value chains will not be truly sustainable in the absence of efforts to guarantee freedom of association and collective bargaining, which ultimately lead to fair wages for the people who make our clothes.”

Any efforts to tackle textiles in the bloc will require a “holistic” approach to environmental, social and commercial practices in the supply chain, not just one that focuses on the circular economy, said Tamar Hoek, senior policy advisor, sustainable fashion, at Solidaridad Network, noting that “design and buying practices have an impact on working conditions, [and] circular business models do not solve exploitation of workers and farmers, or lead to living wages and incomes.” As the strategies are presented now, the only way to improve social sustainability is through the European Commission’s forthcoming corporate sustainability due diligence directive.

Not that they aren’t a good first step, said Valeria Botta, program manager at the Environmental Coalition on Standards. “The textile sector has largely been untouched by EU sustainability policies,” she said. “[The] decision to include textiles under the Sustainable Products Initiative is a real milestone...

Emily Macintosh, policy officer for textiles at the European Environmental Bureau, a network of environmental citizens’ organizations across Europe, praised the EU for naming overproduction as one of the root causes of the continent’s woes. But she also wants to see the proposals go further...

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EU Commission presents strategy for sustainable textiles to tackle fashion’s environmental impact & labour abuses

EU Commission presents strategy for sustainable textiles to tackle fashion’s environmental impact & labour abuses