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EU gets tough on ‘fast fashion’ and it’s ugly waste problem

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30 March 2022 - The EU will get tough on fast fashion and its ugly waste problem, officials pledged today, part of a wider package of measures to “make sustainable products the norm”.

The European Commission announced new rules to boost clothing quality, reduce toxic chemicals and waste.

Changing Markets Foundation campaigns director Nusa Urbancic said: “The polluter should pay is a principle we can all agree with, but one that fashion has escaped for too long. High street brands dazzle us with vast amounts of cheap clothes that aren’t designed to last for long, but they don’t pay for the mountains of waste that get dumped, including in developing countries. That is wrong and will likely now change, following today’s announcement. Europe, a major global market, is setting a bold new direction towards clothing we care more about and waste less.” The centerpiece of the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles will be a fee on brands like H&M, Primark and C&A applying Europe-wide. Known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), the fee aims to reduce staggering levels of textile waste. The less ecological the item, the higher the charge will be, boosting textile reuse, recycling and reducing waste. France is the only country worldwide with an active EPR scheme for textiles, but it is set very low. A concrete EU legislative proposal will be tabled in 2023


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