The European Union gives an ultimatum to the textile sector in its conversion towards a more sustainable industry. In a period of five years, circular economy will cease to be a wish to become an imposition by law. The sector is preparing to receive a long list of new regulations to change the industrial model so that the responsibility of the producers extends until the end of the product’s life.
The great environmental impact of the sector
The need for tougher legislation comes from the large amount of waste produced by the fashion sector. Companies recicle less than 1% of production.
In The United States, the largest consumer market for fashion, 65.2% of textiles waste ends up in landfills, 18.7% is incineraste and only 14.5% is recycled, according to data from the US Agency for environmental protection (EPA).
Meanwhile in Europe, despite the increpase in the social tren towards sustainability, Europeans consume an average of 26 kilos of textiles per year, and dispose of around eleven kilos annually.
With the rise of fast fashion, textiles production in the world has double in 15 years. If this growth rate jeeps going, in 2030 the textiles industry will have increased its consumption of water, CO2 emissions and the generation of waste by between 50% and 63%.
The EU decides to take action in this regard
For these reasons, the EU wants products manufactured in the Union to be more durable, easier to reuse, repair and recycle.
Manufacturing is entended to be oriented towards environmental sustainabilty. That is wha priority will be given to the design and production of a circular economy, that is, the garments become useful resources again, return to the value chain and thus do not end up in the landfill.
Companies must first stop destroying excess stock and then take charge of collecting the garments that their customers want to throw away and give them a new life.
As of 2022, the Waste Law will force the collection of post-consumer waste, either with a colección point in the store or by alternative routes. Then the next step to take: they’ll have to estables reusing and recycling targets for the waste.
The data sepas for itself. A reconversion of fashion towards sustainability is more than necessary. Some retailers are beginning to adopt these trends with initiatives to reduce textile pollution and grow cotton sustainably. In March, the UN launched the Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, which coordinates the efforts of various agencies to make the industry less polluting.
However, it is everyone’s job to help minimize the environmental impact of the fashion sector. Before throwing away those old-fashioned clothes, think about whether you can put it to a new use, the environment will thank you.