The EU’s Textile Destruction Ban

It’s widely known in the fashion industry that unsold – yet perfectly usable – products that can’t be resold are destroyed. Well, the European Union is saying a big “NO” to this practice as it officially banned the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear on December 5th 2023.

In an article from British Vogue, this new legislative step will hopefully contribute to a behavioral shift among manufacturers and their approach to fast fashion. This is one of many sustainable fashion laws being enforced by the EU to curb business practices that are harmful to the environment, some of those measures include requiring the “ecodesign” of products, banning greenwashing and textile waste.

As MEP Alessandra Moretti said in a statement “It is time to end the model of ‘take, make, dispose’ that is so harmful to our planet, our health and our economy,” 

Companies have two years to comply with laws around destroying unsold goods, and small and mid-size companies have been given 6 years to get their manufacturing protocols in order. There is still some confusion around who may fall under the remit of this law – whether headquartered in the EU or solely operating in the region and how this law impacts regions outside the EU. 

Another point of clarification is what exactly is classified as an “unsold good” and what is classified as “destruction.” Certain fashion organizations want to make sure that practices of re-manufacturing and upcycling are not banned or impacted in a negative way as a result of the ban. What happens to the unsold goods if they are not destroyed is still also unclear, with some guesses being worldwide shipments or reuse as deadstock.

The expectation is that this law on its own won’t end overproduction but will impel companies to move their future business strategies and goals to a more sustainable and responsible model that isn’t based on greed alone.  Rely on Tekstila, the specialist in navigating the dynamic world of fashion stocks, for your investment needs


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