Textiles and the Save the Sea Act

The waste factor in the textile industry has been increasingly a constant in recent years-an issue now under the magnifying glass of Europe, which, with the Salvamare Law, has given a real swerve to the modus operandi of textile companies on the Old Continent.
By 2030, textile products placed on the EU market will be durable and recyclable, largely made from recycled fibers, free of hazardous substances, and produced with respect for social rights and the environment.”; more than a promise, that of the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles is a true statement of intent, but one that also leaves unexplored sides to be carefully understood.

The year 2030 represents the first end point set by the EU: ecological parameters in fashion must be fully met by this date.

Textiles between the present and the future

Between strategy and legislative act is a short step, but not a very short one: the European program demonstrates how indeed the lights have been turned on a real issue aimed at Making the textile industry more circular, focusing on the quality and sustainability of garments; more generally, focusing on sharing a culture of textiles, from producer to consumer.
Indeed, at the basis of any great innovation process there must always be a resilient, ecological approach and face future planning capable of embracing the world by understanding its direction: in essence,
fashion must show that it is not out of fashion
, but to be in step with the times and in line with the future.
We need to move beyond the era of “fast fashion,” an era that has led to gruesome numbers that we need to chase up today:

  • In Europe, 5.8 million tons of textiles are discarded each year, about 11 kg per person;
  • waste production has doubled in the past two decades;
  • consumption of clothing and footwear is set to increase by percentages that may reach 70 percent in the next ten years;

But why does this happen? Because the textile supply chain does not make recycling and durability two cornerstones; two points that are impossible to do without today.

The material composition of textiles does not facilitate their recycling, nor does the often imposing presence of chemicals.

The European line is clear, and it provides for some Sustainable labeling criteria for textile products; a guide for the Green Public Procurement of the textile sector; a series of restrictions on the use of (often toxic) chemicals as far as the European market is concerned; a number of binding measures for what concerns the release of microplastics, mainly related to synthetic fibers, respecting basic principles of ecodesign.

Making the textile industry more circular is the only way to create awareness in the manufacturer, retailer and consumer by emphasizing quality.

A more sustainable and aware consumer is needed

In addition to directives for companies in the fashion industry, there is a real need to go out and create greater awareness in those who buy the final product of the fashion industry.
TheConsumer Empowerment for Transition initiative will ensure that consumers have all the information they need at the point of sale-digital or physical-about the durability and repairability of the garments they are going to purchase. What is commonly referred to as “Green” or “eco-friendly” will be regularized and supported by specific EU-recognized certifications once all relevant environmental criteria are passed.
A process similar to what is done with wine or food products. The only way out to educate and inform the consumer about the risks and issues related to the world of fast fashion, a consumer who will be less driven to compulsively purchase, very often through the net, low quality garments at low cost, but who will be in a position to look more carefully at the provenance, processing, materials and environmental impact of a garment, just as happens in the agribusiness sector.

A long and utopian process? Undoubtedly not easy, but certainly the only way out.