It’s not surprising the EU’s proposed legislation on textile waste was Just Style’s hot topic last week with the apparel industry keen to know what the changes will mean for their businesses and, of course, lower the risk of getting tripped up over non-compliance.

I was fortunate enough to sit down with the CEO and founder of Sourcemap Leonardo Bonnani – an interview which will feature on the site in the coming weeks – who told me that since the US government proposed and later passed legislation for the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act (UFLPA), Sourcemap’s growth has been 10x. A year since the law was introduced, over 12,000 companies have registered on the platform.

And understandably so. Non-compliance is a costly business, not just in terms of fines and other penalties, but also in terms of reputation.

While the EU Commission last week published its proposed rules for an extended producer responsibility scheme, US apparel and footwear industry representatives are urging the US Senate to allow more time to develop a similar bill. It needs to accomplish what it sets out to achieve as it could form the basis of all future textile Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation in the US.

There has also been a concerted effort from organisations, both within the apparel and footwear industry and outside of it, to support the sector’s effort to operate in a way that is better, both socially and environmentally. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Climate-Change-convened Fashion Charter has launched the Sustainable Fashion Communication Playbook aimed at guiding on the best way to accurately communicate sustainability efforts. While Vans and North Face owner, VF Corp, is backing a circular fashion framework developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The impact of the apparel and footwear industry on both people and the planet is no secret; talk about improving standards and lowering this impact has been discussed for decades. But with legislation looming and fashion brands and retailers set to be increasingly scrutinised, many will jump at the opportunity to adopt new frameworks and guides to help ease them into any new mandatory changes.

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By GlobalData

On reflection, compared to when I joined Just Style as News Editor (way back when), I can truly see the needle is shifting now. With legislation holding fashion brands and retailers to account, I do believe the industry will continue to change for the better and I look forward to sharing those changes with you the moment they happen.

Hannah Abdulla,

Deputy Editor, Just Style.

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