Sustainable legislation: present and future in the fashion industry
May 25, 2023
T2T's work is to provide consultancy and end-to-end services that focus on sustainability and the circular economy in the fashion industry. To this end, our role is to help fashion brands and manufacturers implement sustainable practices in their operations.
We address everything from ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strategy to eco-design, supply chain management, product development, retail and marketing, offering tailored solutions to address each client’s unique challenges and opportunities. Our aim is to guide our clients and, together, build a more sustainable and circular fashion industry, where economic growth is balanced with social and environmental responsibility.
It is important that companies in the textile and fashion sector adapt their processes to a sustainable change and in accordance with the new environmental paradigm. There are regulations that are already in place and others that will soon be implemented to ensure the regulation of sustainability in the production chain of their companies.
In this article we present to you the situation of the textile market in Europe and the regulations that will dominate the fashion industry in the coming years 2024, 2025 and 2026. At T2T we offer consultancy and services, with our extensive experience we help our clients to adapt to regulatory change.
What changes do we have to adapt to?
We live in a world that is increasingly aware of the importance of protecting our environment. Companies, regardless of their sector, are increasingly trying to have a more sustainable production chain and now the textile industry is in the spotlight.
In the next three years, various legislative regulations are expected to be implemented in the textile sector, with the aim of ensuring sustainability and reducing the negative impact of this industry on the environment.
First of all, the focus should be on the waste circularity directive. This law encourages the fashion sector to move towards textile waste management. The difficulty in controlling the supply chain in the textile sector makes it difficult to trace the process that starts in the cotton mill and ends in a shop in any big city.
For this reason, the first step starts with circularity and waste management, during and at the end of the process. Nowadays, the sector’s need is for recycling and good technology to make it happen. Companies need to take responsibility for the waste and residue they generate, using it to be able to produce new clothes without having to waste raw materials again. This is the function of the circular economy, which is beginning to be applied in the textile industry, but has long been present in many other sectors, such as in the reuse of plastic or glass.
New regulations in the next 3 years
In the longer term, there are several directives that may directly affect small and medium sized companies in the textile sector that are not in line with the upcoming regulations.
2024 is expected to start with the Ecodesign regulation. An EU regulation that focuses on promoting a sustainable and environmentally efficient economy. It is built on three bases: the design requirements, the digital passport and the transparency requirements, principles that are considered essential to guarantee a sustainable, green and transparent future.
Looking ahead to 2025, the reverse waste collection and management service should begin to be managed. Establishing the circular economy as a basis, this law is committed to a new, more efficient and decisive waste regulation. For example, this law in Spain determines that a new textile waste collection service will start to be managed by municipalities with more containers for recyclable clothing. Private companies will have to create consortiums to manage their waste in the same way.
Finally, by 2026, there will be a mandatory sustainability audit. This law aims to ensure transparency and good production processes in the industry. The aim is to be able to declare the entire supply chain of the product, as we had said, from the cotton plant to the shop where it is sold. Between the first step and the last there have been countless suppliers and processes involved in the creation of the product, such as cleaning, printing, spinners, traders and many more.
UN and others warn of the need for new regulations
In fact, organizations such as the UN are already pushing for and exposing the need for new sustainable regulations for the industry. The 2020 Sustainable Development Goals report calls for the need for sustainable management that is aligned with climate and environmental requirements.
Other reports, such as The Ethical Consumer (2019), indicate the perception of customers on the recycling of clothing. Greenwashing is a very sensitive issue and one that creates mistrust among consumers, the report notes that 74% of UK consumers agree that clothing brands should take responsibility for what happens in their manufacturing processes and ensure that it is done in an environmentally friendly way.
To help companies adapt, T2T puts its knowledge and expertise at the service of fashion brands that want to join the change. The expected regulations will dictate obligations for fashion brands to follow, for which they will need to be prepared.