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There are almost 5,000 physical miles between the EU and US, but the nations are growing further apart in terms of green fashion legislation.

EU leads the way on green fashion legislation

Last week, the European Parliament announced that under its new proposed law a number of greenwashing practices will be banned, including making generic environmental claims and falsely presenting products as repairable when they are not.

This is on top of its digital product passport rollout and the fact the EU Parliament is moving closer to approving legislation aimed at lowering the environmental footprint of the fashion sector.

It should be noted the EU’s proposed legislation isn’t perfect and some trade bodies have argued the EU Parliament’s negotiating mandate for the EU ecodesign framework for sustainable products lacks clarity and misses key opportunities.

But, no-one can deny it is moving in the right direction.

In contrast, the US withdrew its US California SB707, known as the Responsible Textile Recovery Act of 2023, from a legislative hearing in July.

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By GlobalData

This proposed bill would be the US’s first Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programme for apparel, textiles, and textile articles, thereby requiring apparel producers to take responsibility for the collection and recycling of their products.

In the same month the EU Commission had already announced its proposed rules for EPR which would make fashion brands and retailers responsible for the full lifecycle of textile products and would require them to financially support the sustainable management of textile waste across the EU.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) argued at the time the delay would give all stakeholders the chance to learn from California’s own pilot textiles Extended Producer Responsibility programme passed last year, and the EU’s ongoing Extended Producer Responsibility programme efforts.

The US has led the way in terms of tackling forced labour within its fashion supply chain, specifically from the Xinjiang region, with the EU following its lead.

So the key question remains – why is the US so slow to tackle the ever-growing and ever-important environmental impact of the fashion sector?

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