The Commission has launched a multilingual campaign – ReSet The Trend – to engage Europeans in the battle against fast fashion and raise public awareness about the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. Millions of tonnes of clothes are produced, worn and thrown away each year, equivalent to 11.3 kg per person. Every second, the equivalent of a lorry load of clothes is burnt or buried in landfill. Under the motto #ReFashionNow, the campaign attempts to address this problem, raising awareness about the environmental, social, economic and health-related benefits of transforming the textiles sector and the opportunities that sustainable fashion opens up for both businesses and consumers. Building on the success of the European Year of Youth, the campaign is meant to empower young Europeans to become role models and make fast fashion out of fashion.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheriessaid:
The world is changing. Producing, using, and then throwing things away is old-fashioned. In our world, it no longer makes economic sense. It’s harming the planet and our health. That’s why Europe has a new strategy for textiles. We want to be part of the solution. We have one goal: that in the long-term only the most sustainable products will reach the market here in Europe. We want everyone to be part of that change and to ReSet the Trend.
At a kick-off event in Antwerp today, designers, industry representatives, fashion sustainability experts, policy makers, young professionals from the textiles sector and students from around the EU will share the best sustainable fashion practices in Europe, discuss how to avoid greenwashing and the role of circular business models in driving fast fashion out of fashion. They will also look at how to address the numerous challenges this industry faces and accelerate the implementation of the EU Textiles Strategy.
Yesterday, CommissionerSinkevičius participated in a Youth Dialogue on transforming the textiles sector. Fourteen young people from across the EU and Ukraine, including designers and environmental activists, discussed EU policy as well as opportunities and challenges they face in the sector. They were engaging on the EU action on the textiles agenda, challenges faced by companies and SMEs, the social dimension of the textile industry, as well as the international angle and other areas of interest to young people.
Making textiles circular and sustainable is a whole-of-society endeavour. Find out how you can become a role model on the campaign website, download the social media filters, and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #ReFashionNow.
Textiles and clothing employ 1.5 million Europeans, creating local jobs, business opportunities and more possibilities to be creative. Circular fashion benefits small business in particular, enabling them to offer new services, such as restoration, customisation and tailoring, and providing an increased customer base. At the same time, costs can be reduced due to savings from better resource productivity and risk reduction from improved inventory management. The Pact for Skills roundtable with the textiles ecosystem held with Commission and industry representatives discussed the skills needs in this sector. The proposed European Year of Skills 2023 will help to give a new impetus for re- and upskilling and further advance this aim.
The textiles sector is also one of the least sustainable industries worldwide. A resource intensive and wasteful sector, it is among the top three pressures on water and land use and the top five for raw materials use and greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Global textiles production almost doubled between 2000 and 2015, and the consumption of clothing and footwear is expected to increase by 63% by 2030, from 62 million tonnes now to 102 million tonnes in 2030.
To make production and consumption of textiles more sustainable, the EU is redesigning the fashion industry so consumers can make more sustainable choices when shopping for clothes. The EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles, adopted by the European Commission on 30 March 2022, addresses the production and consumption of textiles, whilst recognising the importance of the textiles sector. It implements the commitments of the European Green Deal, the new circular economy action plan and the industrial strategy.
For More Information
- Publication date
- 26 January 2023
- Directorate-General for Environment