Change sweater, pants and jacket every season? Being constantly “fashionable” it may perhaps win in some popularity contest but it has enormous costs for our planet. It is the plague of fast fashion, disposable fashion. In Europe alone, each citizen on average throws away about 11kg of clothes per yearnot to mention the unsold which often end up filling illegal landfills in some remote desert. But theEuropean Union would be planning a serious one turn of the screw to try to contain the most evident effects of fast fashion by 2030.
The impact of fast fashion in the European Union
The impact of fast fashion on the environment is significant. The apparel industry is estimated to be there fourth producer of emissions of greenhouse gases after the food industry, construction and transport. In the European Union alone almost 75% of the garments it is imported with the consequent costs in terms of transport. And that’s before considering the impact of clothes disused or unsold. In the 27 countries of the European Union the cost of imports amounts to approx 80 billion euros.
The new EU plan against disposable fashion
But that could change in the future. There European Commission, the executive arm of the Union, has in fact announced that it has set up an intervention plan against the effects of fast fashion. The details are still being defined but the Commission says it is thinking of new rules that could, among others, require a minimum amount of recycled fibers within the fabrics up to prohibition for manufacturers of dispose of in landfills the unsold. According to the EU environment commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevičius “fabrics placed on the European Union market should be long-lived and recyclablemade largely from recycled fibers“. In short, a real crackdown on disposable fashion.
New rules by 2030
In the objectives of the European Union the new regulations against fast fashion should see the light by 2030. The change and the introduction of new regulations could be serious impact on imports and on the entire sector which, to contain prices, often produces disposable clothes in developing countries exploiting the workers. Among the objectives of the Commission is also that of moving the consumer mentality from “disposable” to reuse and recycling. But for this we also need a change of attitude on the part of the clothing industry for make its economy more circular.