The European Parliament supports new rules in favour of sustainable, durable products and eliminates greenwashing.
In early May, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved the draft legislation which puts an end to misleading claims and advances product durability and labelling. With 551 votes, this won the majority in favour of the proposal for a “new directive on empowering consumers for the green transition” (www.europarl.europa.eu, 2023). This has the intention to prompt companies into giving more sustainable and durable products on the market, as well as to help consumers choose environmentally friendly goods.
Through this proposal, misleading advertisements will be banned; such as false claims for the product as a whole if only part of it is true, as well as implying how long it will last and whether it can be used at a certain level of intensity. General environmental claims like “eco”, “natural”, “biodegradable” or “environmentally friendly” are to be disallowed if not provided with evidence. With environmental claims based solely on carbon offsetting schemes also to be banned.
The European Parliament wants to utilise sustainability labels based on official certification schemes or established by public authorities to simplify product information. As well as to make products endure for longer; with a new guarantee label to help consumers choose lasting and repairable products, and to also encourage businesses to increase their focus on durability.
These new rules are in aid of a circular economy package, including the eco design regulation, construction products regulation and an ‘own initiative report’ on the EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles.
The French AGEC & Decree No. 2022-748 – What this means for the fashion industry
This follows after France introduced new laws for products within their own markets. First in 2020, the anti-waste law for a circular economy (AGEC) was passed, and this aims to change the production and consumption model in order to reduce waste and preserve natural resources, biodiversity and the climate. (Ministères Écologie Énergie Territoires, 2023)
Most recently, in April 2022, the French Government added further legislation – the Decree No. 2022-748. These legislations call for the fashion industry and fashion brands to inform consumers on where the main manufacturing steps in their products’ supply chain took place geographically; with 1. Weaving, 2. Dyeing and Printing, 3. The Confection; and for footwear: 1. Stitching, 2. Editing, 3. The Finish. As well as to inform on the products’ environmental qualities.
This transparency enables better management of textile and packaging waste, and the ability to sell in the French market. So far it is implemented for companies with a turnover above €50m from January 2023, and will be phased in for smaller companies during 2024 and 2025.
Complying these new regulations with DDPs
From 2025 the EU could be bringing in similar traceability laws for Digital Product Passports (DPPs) on garments, coinciding with their “Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition” directive proposal and Green Claims Directive.
The information provided with DDPs, e.g. composition, disassembling possibilities, and recyclable or disposable components, can enable the upscaling of circular economy strategies such as predictive maintenance, repair, remanufacturing and recycling.
It also informs consumers and other stakeholders of the sustainability characteristics of products and materials. This will provide consumers and manufacturers to make better informed and sustainable choices by taking their environmental impact into consideration.
(Digital Product Passport, 2022)
How Seamless Source can help with 360 Trace
Along with our award winning service, we provide 360 Trace – the compliant digital product passport – to lead our clients into achieving a better fashion supply chain through transparency and circularity.
360 Trace provides the transparency needed to fully comply with the supply chain laws as well as encourage a circular economy. With every product created with us via our platform – a digital product passport is automatically generated.
The complete supply chain of any product can be fully traced from source through to logistics, all in one place, even its circular journey to the recycling. This includes the geographic locations (country and region) of where every step took place, and the certifications can also be traced at key points in the production to verify working practices and sustainability claims.
View accurate Fabric Composition details to the percentage, as well as Care Instructions to increase longevity, including Sustainability & Circularity to find out where to sustainably dispose of the products for a circular journey.
The product’s supply chain story can be shared effectively with the generated QR code; printing this onto hang tags, printing it as a fabric label or directly to the product, and also embedding the QR code to e-commerce stores – for anyone to see.
So in a nutshell
Within the next few years it will be important for fashion brands to conform with these laws and retain the ability to sell in global markets. By providing transparency and traceability of the supply chain, they’ll also meet the demands of growing conscious consumers and increased brand values.
Want to know more about 360 Trace? Check out our “Introducing 360 Trace” blog here.
To read more on these legislations, including the digital product passport, check out the reference links below:
- www.europarl.europa.eu. (2023). Parliament backs new rules for sustainable, durable products and no greenwashing | News | European Parliament.
- Ministères Écologie Énergie Territoires. (2023). Cadre général des filières à responsabilité élargie des producteurs.
- (Gouv.fr. (2023). https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/jorf/article_jo/JORFARTI000045726109
- Digital Product Passport. (2022). https://www.corporateleadersgroup.com/files/cisl_digital_products_passport_report_v6.pdf?utm_medium=email&_hsmi=234314742&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_Mcx_r8Mn750weS99Aeo4YY-s842lZO1-qAFq25odI9UgFLanl8dxrZaNwOdg7Mq2Yr3O2u4HZ4dlmn74lsroJIXwtdDB389LiffGvcnzNIWZ-qcc&utm_content=234314742&utm_source=hs_email