the textile industry must change its practices towards real respect for social and environmental rights

Last week, on 1 June, the European Parliament sent a clear signal, with 600 votes in favour, that the textile industry must change its practices towards real respect for social and environmental rights.

The report adopted by the European Parliament has improved the Commission's original proposal for an EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles by showing that social and environmental aspects are two sides of the same coin.

Moreover, the European Parliament recognises the global dimension of the industry, as well as its specific challenges related to social issues, gender and overproduction.

An overwhelming cross-party majority of 600 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of this report. The coalition members now jointly call on policy makers at EU and national level to heed this clear call from elected MEPs and translate this high ambition into concrete legislative initiatives.

The coalition’s demands focus on:

  1. Tackling global overproduction
  2. Recognising there is no sustainability possible without workers
  3. Ensuring a Just Transition
  4. Building fairer purchasing practices
  5. Enabling the transparency of supply chains
  6. Maximising local re-use of textiles
  7. Ensuring sustainable textile production in Europe

Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe Deputy General Secretary comments:

"For trade unions, the EU strategy for sustainable textiles must protect people and the planet. We therefore warmly welcome the European Parliament's report, which puts social and environmental aspects on an equal footing, as the coalition of trade unions and civil society actors has been campaigning for. 

"Textile workers and their trade unions now look forward to ensuring that all EU legislation proposed in the strategy fully reflects this principle and ensures that the textile ecosystem can transform into a more sustainable industry, while providing high quality and well paid jobs for thousands of workers across Europe".

Read the full response here: EN

Members of the coalition include: Clean Clothes Campaign, Fair Trade, ecos, European Environmental Bureau, Fashion Revolution, reuse and industriAll Europe