Friday, July 12, 2024

Should we put fast fashion in the recycling bin?

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Textile products are an integral part of our daily lives. However, the textiles sector also has the fourth highest impact on the environment in the EU. The large-scale production and consumption of textiles is wasteful, causes pollution and biodiversity loss, and fuels climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to rethink the way we design and produce clothes, to make them more circular and sustainable. Moreover, everyone can play their part, for instance by adopting more sustainable consumption habits that will make fast fashion out of fashion.

In this episode of The Road to Green, we will meet producers, retailers, influencers and consumers who are already taking steps to transform the sector, and show the opportunities of this transition for businesses, consumers and the planet. Their personal stories and experiences provide an insight into some of the solutions that are already available today.

The Road to Green first takes us to Prato, Italy, a major European textile hub that is undergoing a transformation towards circular fashion. The episode continues in Vilnius, Lithuania, where Euronews meets a fashion journalist engaged in sustainable fashion.

Watch the full episode.


The EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, launched in 2022, provides a new vision covering the entire lifecycle of textile products. It proposes actions addressing both production and consumption to ensure that by 2030, all textile products placed on the EU market are durable, repairable, and recyclable, and as much as possible free of hazardous substances. As such, these initiatives also deliver on the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan.

A key action under the Strategy is the EU proposal for a Regulation on Ecodesign for Sustainable Products, which will set new design requirements for textiles, making them last longer, easier to repair and recyclable.

Another key measure is the newly proposed targeted revision of the Waste Framework Directive, which introduces new rules to make producers responsible for the full lifecycle of their textile products and to support the sustainable managements of textile across the EU. The EU furthermore aims to discourage the destruction of unsold or returned textiles and restrict the export of textile waste.

To help consumers make more informed choices when buying new clothes and to tackle “greenwashing”, the Commission also proposed EU rules to stop companies from making misleading claims about environmental merits of their products and services.

In the future, the EU will also present new rules to address the unintentional release of microplastics, for example coming from synthetic fibres in clothes, such as polyester, rayon and nylon.

Finally, cooperation is key to achieve a meaningful transformation. A Transition Pathway for the Textiles Ecosystem was therefore co-created with all stakeholders of the sector to define specific actions to make the industry greener and more digital, and to ensure its long-term sustainability, resilience and competitiveness.

“The Road to Green” is a Euronews magazine in collaboration with the Directorate-General for Environment (ENV). It features monthly 8-minute videos, delivered in a road trip format, covering Europe’s continuing transformation to a circular, net-zero, nature-positive and clean economy.

Watch previous episodes from “The Road to Green” TV magazine


DG ENV co-finances the production of the Road to Green, while Euronews retain full editorial independence. Views and opinions expressed in the programme are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the European Commission or any other entities.

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