The EU Commission is proposing measures that ensure longer product lifespans and better-informed consumers as part of its negotiating mandate for the ecodesign framework.
A digital product passport with accurate and up-to-date information to increase transparency and enable consumers to make informed purchasing choices is featured high up on the agenda.
The proposal, put forward this summer, garnered 600 MEP votes in favour, as it focuses on putting fast fashion, well frankly, out of fashion.
While some trade bodies have expressed concern about certain elements of the proposal – such as it could make the EU fashion sector less competitive, could increase dependency on foreign supplies and fails to recognise the difference between technical textiles and fashion – most are of the agreement change is necessary.
And several companies have already pressed forward with plans to introduce a digital passport.
Pangaia has collaborated with Archive, a branded resale platform, and tech company EON, to introduce Pangaia ReWear, a peer-to-peer, digital passport-enabled resale initiative.
While the responsible fashion brand Nobody’s Child, is launching Digital Product Passports (DPPs) in its Nobody’s Child x Happy Place Collection collaboration with Ferne Cotton. The products will be available at Asos, John Lewis and M&S.
Richard Price, managing director of clothing & home, M&S said: “Digital product passports are the future, and we welcome the opportunity for customers to engage with the unique Nobody’s Child QR codes in our selected stores.”
Both announcements were made within days of each other suggesting fashion players are approaching this challenge, head-on, fully aware legislation forcing compliance is just around the corner.
And service providers are also proving their readiness to rise to the occasion such as TrusTrace which is participating in Trace4Value’s pilot project that encourages sustainable production, the facilitation of the transition to a circular economy and helps consumers to make sustainable choices.
TrusTrace co-founder and CEO, Shameek Ghosh says the project will allow it to explore the opportunities and challenges the DPP will entail for textile and fashion companies, ultimately helping the entire industry comply with this new directive before 2030.
What that actually looks like in practice – as in once the DPPs are fully rolled out – is anyone’s guess. Will product prices be higher? Will consumers understand and be willing to pay a premium to ensure a more sustainable and ethically produced fashion item? What’s next for fast fashion producers as a result of the rollout?
Well if the last week is anything to go by it’s clear change is coming – and fast. Brace yourselves, we could be in for a quick but bumpy ride.
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