Circularity: EU begins textile industry consultation
The European Commission has recently published a road map charting the local textile industry's transition towards greater circularity. The document includes a consultation to gather the advice, observations and opinions of the local industry’s operators, with a response deadline of February 2.
“The European Green Deal, the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) and the Industrial Strategy have identified textiles as a priority sector in which the EU can pave the way towards a carbon neutral, circular economy, and announced an EU Strategy on textiles,” indicated the EU Commission in the roadmap's introduction.
The Commission’s goal is to draw up a “comprehensive” plan that will incorporate “objectives and incentives” to boost the European textile industry’s competitiveness. A plurality of stakeholders is expected to be involved, from manufacturers to buyers, researchers, consumer associations, investment funds and government bodies.
Future EU regulations will be aimed at the industry's “weaknesses” in terms of sustainable manufacturing, environmentally friendly products and the use of polluting substances, while also attempting to boost the recycling of industrial waste and the use of recycled materials. Another goal is to identify “horizontal actions along the value chain.” Promoting greater transparency and respect of human rights are also listed among the EU initiative's objectives.
The document outlined some of the obstacles the initiative might come across, mentioning a number of studies on the European fashion industry and the role of sustainability within it. Among the obstacles, the remarkable complexity of the value chain, which comprises 160,000 European companies employing 1.5 million people.
“Since the textile sector is highly globalised, fragmented action at national and local level will be insufficient to drive change,” noted the document, adding that “a lack of EU action would undermine effective environmental protection across the EU, as well as the possibility of creating a level playing field for textile businesses in and outside the EU.” This might also threaten the smooth functioning of the EU’s internal market, and the document noted in conclusion that “failure to act would run counter to the strong demand from stakeholders in recent years.”
Until February 2, a ‘have your say’ page is open on the ec.europa.eu website, for stakeholders to express their opinion on the project.
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