Europe wants to take concrete steps to combat overproduction and overconsumption of clothing and shoes. The stricter regulations are part of the Green Deal.
Less waste, more reuse
“Selling high volumes of lower quality garments at low price levels”. This is how the European Commission defines “fast fashion”, a phenomenon it wants to ban from the European Union. It’s a daunting decision for many of the big fashion brands, such as Zara and H&M, which have built their empires on fast fashion. In fact, the fashion market is now dominated by fast-fashion players.
Nevertheless, Europe wants to propose stricter regulations before the summer. Products will have to be made of as much recycled fibre as possible and be free of hazardous substances. They must be more durable, easier to reuse and recycle. Human rights, social rights, labour rights, the environment and animal welfare must be respected throughout the production chain.
Ban on destruction
In addition, the EU wants to ensure that unused or returned textiles are no longer destroyed and that microplastics and microfibres end up in nature as little as possible. The Commission also wants to stop greenwashing by better informing consumers and regulating “green claims” more.
MEP Delara Burkhardt says it is time to act because “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.” In March last year, the Commission proposed a European Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, transposing the European Green Deal to the textile sector.