April 20, 2022
In March 2022, amidst an array of new proposals for sustainable products (including a proposed draft Regulation on Ecodesign for Sustainable Products) the European Commission announced an EU Strategy for Circular and Sustainable Textiles.
The Strategy envisages that “By 2030, textile products placed on the EU market are long-lived and recyclable, to a great extent made of recycled fibres, free of hazardous substances and produced in respect of social rights and the environment. Consumers benefit longer from high quality affordable textiles, fast fashion is out of fashion, and economically profitable re-use and repair services are widely available…..producers take responsibility for their products along the value chain, including when they become waste,…. incineration and landfilling of textiles is reduced to the minimum”.
The EC envisages numerous steps to achieve this strategy, including:
According to the EC’s Strategy Communication, the textiles and clothing sector comprises more than 160,000 companies and employs 1.5 million people, generating a turnover of EUR 162 billion in 2019. Global textile production has almost doubled between 2000 and 2015, with the consumption of clothing and footwear expected to increase by 63% by 2030, from 62 million tonnes now, to 102 million tonnes in 2030. The EC flags that in the EU, the consumption of textiles, most of which are imported, now accounts on average for the fourth highest negative impact on the environment and on climate change and third highest for water and land use from a global life cycle perspective. In circumstances where approximately 5.8 million tonnes of textiles are discarded every year in the EU, the impact of this Strategy could be significant.
This alert was prepared by Susy Bullock, Sophy Helgesen, and Freddie Batho*.
Gibson Dunn’s lawyers are available to assist in addressing any questions you may have about these developments. To learn more, please contact Susy Bullock, the Gibson Dunn lawyer with whom you usually work, or any of the following lawyers in the firm’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) or Fashion, Retail and Consumer Products practice groups:
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Group:
Susy Bullock – London (+44 (0) 20 7071 4283, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Elizabeth Ising – Washington, D.C. (+1 202-955-8287, email@example.com)
Perlette M. Jura – Los Angeles (+1 213-229-7121, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ronald Kirk – Dallas (+1 214-698-3295, email@example.com)
Michael K. Murphy – Washington, D.C. (+1 202-955-8238, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Selina S. Sagayam – London (+44 (0) 20 7071 4263, email@example.com)
Fashion, Retail and Consumer Products Group:
Howard S. Hogan – Washington, D.C. (+1 202-887-3640, firstname.lastname@example.org)
* Freddie Batho is a trainee solicitor working in the firm’s London office and not yet admitted to practice law.
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