The fashion industry’s blissful time in Eden has come to an end. Fashion brands and retailers are being held accountable for their impact on human rights and the environment – two major grey areas that have gone under the radar for far too long.
Instances of apparel and textiles made with forced labour, such as the controversy over the Xinjiang cotton region in China, or garments being sourced from areas of conflict such as in Myanmar are now in the limelight. The new rules and regulations are designed to make every stage, right from sourcing to production to the end garment a fully transparent cycle.
Both government agencies and end consumers want to know fashion brands’ sustainability claims printed on labels and advertised in media campaigns hold some legitimacy.
This has been especially true for Europe, where the EU Parliament is voting on key due diligence legislation as part of its efforts to identify these grey areas and seek remediation if there are instances of violation.
Based on this, non-compliant companies will be liable for damages and can be sanctioned by national supervisory authorities. In fact sanctions can include measures such as “naming and shaming,” taking a company’s goods off the market, or fines of at least 5% of the net worldwide turnover. With non-EU companies that fail to comply with the rules being banned from public procurement in the EU.
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However, human rights support groups and apparel labour unions like the Clean Clothes Campaign and IndustriAll have pointed out the efforts are falling short and there’s a need to address remaining loopholes.
Fashion companies have arguably been profiting from exploitation and always hunting down the cheapest dollar for far too long so the EU’s stance will ensure fashion industry improves it reputation for good.
But what is more interesting to see is whether consumers will keep their part of the deal and shun companies that try to find loopholes in the system?
Top news stories:
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) announced yesterday member states will need to incorporate a set of corporate accountability amendments to safeguard human rights and environmental impact, as part of its Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), however Clean Clothes Campaign and IndustriALL argue the new rules still don’t go far enough.
The discussions in Luleå, Sweden, involved key European Union (EU) and US stakeholders and aimed to devise strategies to eradicate forced labour from supply chains while promoting sustainable practices.
The European Parliament adopts recommendations for the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles today (1 June), however the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) argues it could push Europe out of the fashion market.
This milestone of 200 signatories highlights the growing dedication to worker safety within the Bangladesh garment industry.
The partner countries of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) came together for a ministerial meeting in Detroit, Michigan on 27 May 2023 and concluded the negotiations with agreement on an international accord to strengthen supply chains.
German fashion firm S.Oliver has placed its support behind the EU Commission’s proposal for the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), which seeks to embed considerations for human rights and environmental preservation into the very fabric of business decisions and governance structures within European companies.
Consulting firm Kearney’s Circular Fashion Index (CFX) report suggests global fashion brands are struggling to meet environmental demands, prompting demands for urgent action.
Social enterprise CottonConnect and product traceability solutions company Haelixa have joined forces to deliver digital and physical cotton traceability throughout the supply chain.