POLITICO’s Spotlight “Achieving Sustainability in the Fashion Industry: what’s the way forward?” will take place during Fur Europe’s event at the European Parliament “This is Fur”.
Clothes contribute more to climate change than international flights and shipping combined, and the problem is getting worse. Falling prices and the rise of fast fashion have led to growing demand and a tendency to see clothing as disposable. As Europeans’ wardrobes are getting bigger, so is the sector’s environmental footprint.
The level of awareness and action is still at a very early stage. While there is no legislative plans to reduce the fashion industry’s environmental impact, the issue is starting to draw attention and the European Commission has published earlier this year a report mapping sustainable fashion opportunities for SMEs.
What should government and the fashion industry do to improve the industry’s environmental impact and make it greener?
Would a greener fashion industry upend its existing business model?
Where does the responsibility for shifting to a more sustainable industry lie? Should the EU introduce an extended-producer responsibility scheme on retailers?
How can consumers be convinced to buy more conscious or expensive clothing or less cheap clothes?
What is the right balance between labor and environmental protection?
How can the longevity and recyclability of clothes be improved?
How can the whole lifecycle of clothing items be improved – from material sourcing, to production, to recycling and reusing?
This POLITICO spotlight will take a broader look at sustainable fashion, the direction the fashion industry is taking, and where policymakers, the industry and consumers have a role.