Warming up for the race

New European ecodesign rules are taking a more tangible final shape. The European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement last week on the revision of the EU framework for ecodesign for sustainable products, including textiles (especially clothing and footwear).

The purpose of revising the regulation is to enhance various aspects throughout the life cycle of products. Products, in this case textiles, should be more durable, repairable, recyclable, and use fewer energy and water resources.

What obligations will arise for manufacturers and sellers of textile products?

The controversial obligation, widely debated among manufacturers and legislators, to report unsold goods and the prohibition of their destruction (burning or landfilling) will be applicable following the agreement of the European trialogue. The ban on destroying unsold clothing, accessories, and footwear will take effect two years after the law comes into force.

It will also be mandatory to introduce digital “product passports”. These will contain current and accurate information about the product for better consumer awareness. The European Commission has committed to operate a web portal where customers can search for information contained in digital product passports.

Old clothes, shoes, or household textiles are also under scrutiny by other European legislation within the Circular Economy. By no later than January 1, 2025, all EU states must ensure the collection of textiles in all cities and municipalities. Manufacturers themselves, within the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system, will contribute to the collection and transportation of this textile waste.

The goal of European legislators is to establish rules that make sustainability a fundamental norm for products and, at the same time, provide consumers with good information for their effective purchasing decisions

Manufacturers and sellers of textiles will have to focus much more on recycling their unnecessary, unsold products under the new legislation. For manufacturers, this will mean producing primarily from single-materials that can be easily recycled. Blended textiles make the recycling process more complicated and costly. A similar process is already underway in the packaging industry, where under the so-called eco-modulation, manufacturers pay fees within the EPR system based on the recyclability of packaging waste material. According to the planned Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), manufacturers of packaged goods will also be obliged to add a specified minimum amount of recycled material to the packaging. This obligation can be expected in the future for textiles, especially synthetic ones.

Individual legislations, gradually emerging from the European Green Deal agreement, will impact the entire textile sector and its transformation towards more sustainable products as a standard. The race for anticipated transformative changes is finally beginning. Only those well-prepared will succeed.

At LIBERAL LARK, we carefully monitor future legislation, and our gradual steps are even ahead of schedule.

The autumn-winter collection of wool textiles without a membrane is waterproof and suitable for colder weather due to its high weight. We use no synthetic fabrics, only fully natural textiles.

For the upcoming year 2024, we are preparing another innovation – wool processed with a special new technology that provides natural breathable material with resistance to water and wind.


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