Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the European Parliament’s Environment Committee have adopted recommendations to promote circular, sustainable, and socially just production of textiles in the EU. The recommendations aim to put an end to the Fast Fashion Industry, characterised by high volumes of lower quality garments at low prices.

The MEPs called for tougher rules that ensure textile products sold in the EU are durable, easy to reuse, repair and recycle, made of recycled fibres, and free of hazardous substances.

They emphasised that textiles should be produced with respect for human, social and labour rights, the environment, and animal welfare throughout their supply chain, the European Parliament said in a press release.

The report was adopted with 68 votes in favour, none against, and 1 abstention. The recommendations are expected to be adopted in plenary before the summer.

Recommendations against Fast Fashion

The Committee also urged the Commission (that on March 30th adopted the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles) and EU countries to adopt measures that reduce the overconsumption of clothes and footwear.

The recommendations include a clear definition of Fast Fashion, better informing consumers to make responsible choices, and introducing a digital product passport to help track the environmental impact of textiles.

The targets

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the entire lifecycle of the textiles sector, MEPs requested ambitious science-based targets.

They called for production processes to become less energy- and water-intensive, avoid the use and release of harmful substances, and reduce material and consumption footprints. Ecodesign requirements for all textile and footwear products should be adopted as a priority.

The Waste Framework Directive should be revised to include specific targets for textile waste prevention, collection, reuse and recycling, as well as the phase-out of landfilling textiles.

Other recommendations include an explicit ban on the destruction of unsold and returned textile goods, putting an end to greenwashing practices, ensuring fair and ethical trade practices, and minimising the release of microplastics and microfibers into the environment, the release added.