Textile waste a major polluter in Southeast Asian countries like Bangladesh
Today, the European Parliament sent a clear message that the fashion industry needs to transform its harmful practices and respect social rights and the environment. A majority of 600 MEPs from all political groups voted in favour of the Environment Committee’s position to address the fashion industry’s largely unregulated and negative impact. Now legislation must follow to tackle the industry’s core problem: the skyrocketing overproduction of textile goods.
Emily Macintosh, Senior Policy Officer for Textiles at the EEB, said: “MEPs from across the political spectrum have called time on overproduction of textiles by demanding action to prevent textile waste. Now we need the Commission to respond with a strong plan for managing and reducing the EU’s soaring levels of discarded clothing. Companies must pay up for the textile waste they create, in particulary to fund the waste management burden being borne by countries such as Ghana and Kenya who receive unmanageable amounts of exported secondhand clothes from Europe.”
Valeria Botta, Head of Nature Protection and Restoration at ECOS said:
“The European Parliament’s message is loud and clear: the textile industry needs to change. It must respect social and environmental rights. The report highlighted the nonsense of destroying unsold, unused goods. This unethical practice must be banned as soon as possible for all products: textiles, clothes, footwear, and electronics. We congratulate MEPs for supporting the development of horizontal ecodesign requirements for textiles before focusing on individual products. Now, it’s up to the European Commission to follow the Parliament’s high ambitions and set binding reduction targets for the EU’s material and consumption footprints.”
Notes to editors
One year ago, the European Commission put forward a proposal for its Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The Commission and Member States must now turn political ambition into legal accountability.