European Union bans the destruction of unsold textiles

May 23, 2023

How fashion companies can comply with the new ban

Steps on fashion legislation are moving forward quickly, particularly in the European Union.

Under the initial March 2022 Green Deal proposal by the European Commission, the Commission itself would have determined at a later stage whether to put destruction bans on unsold clothes in place.

But on 22nd of May, EU governments agreed that a destruction ban on unsold clothing should apply immediately, eliminating the initial wait for the EU executive to conduct an assessment that could have lasted up to three years.

France already has the anti-waste law AGEC that bans the destruction of unsold non-food products in place. Spain still needs to establish its position, but it seems it may favour a ban on destroying unsold textiles and electronic appliances.

The next step? The governments and the European Parliament need to agree on the Ecodesign Regulation before it can enter law.

The reasons behind the EU ban on destructing unsold textiles

The EU destruction bans are part of the EU's green push towards reducing waste through greater reuse and recycling.

The destruction of unsold consumer products, such as textiles and footwear, is becoming a widespread problem across the EU, particularly due to the rise of online sales.

According to the European Commission, about 5.8 million tonnes of textiles are discarded every year in the EU, approximately 11kg per person, and every second somewhere in the world a truckload of textiles is landfilled or incinerated.

Textile consumption in Europe has the fourth highest impact on the environment and climate change after food, housing and mobility. So it’s time to act!

How does the EU ban affect fashion companies?

While the agreement is in place, medium-sized companies with fewer than 250 workers, would have a transition period of four years to comply, while the smallest companies with fewer than 50, will be exempt.

The new law would also create a new Digital Product Passport showing a product's environmental sustainability to help consumers make more informed choices.

How can Sustainable Brand Platform help?

Sustainable Brand Platform supports fashion brands in their journey towards full data availability and regulatory compliance. For this reason, all our solutions are created in compliance with existing legislation and the ones to come.

We created a wide range of digital solutions for fashion companies to measure their product's environmental sustainability based on primary data, international standards, science-based methods, and supply chain collaborations, such as

- Product Lifecycle Assessment
- Carbon Footprint Calculator
- Product iD Card

Product iD Card powered by Sustainable Brand Platform

The Product iD Card is seemingly integrated with all our solutions and functions as the new Digital Product Passport required in this new legislation to come.

It showcases your products’ journey with the help of QR-codes, mini-sites and iD cards. Brands can communicate their sustainability and clearly display the steps their garments took before reaching the final consumer.

This allows brands to effectively showcase transparency and traceability in a comprehensive and accessible manner and to fully comply with the Eco Design Regulation and AGEC law.

Ready to start? Dive deeper into how our solutions can help comply with specific fashion industry legislation here or get in contact with us here.

Katharina Lahner
Katharina has been with the team of Sustainable Brand Platform since day 1. As marketing manager she is communicating the importance of data in the fashion industry. She has a strong passionate for sustainability and educational content.

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