The EU Strategy for sustainable and circular textiles is based on existing European initiatives, directives and regulations. The following three are central to the EU strategy for textiles.
1. Eco-design for sustainable product regulation
This regulation will expand durability and recyclability for specific product groups (e.g. textiles, tyres , paints, etc.) by implementing requirements to improve products’ circularity and energy performance. In addition, the regulation will require information disclosures for products’ environmental impacts and traceability of all substances of concern throughout the products’ lifecycle.
2. The voluntary EU Ecolabel scheme
The label enables consumers to make informed choices and identify environmentally friendly products. It aims to promote a circular economy and implement criteria for various products, including textiles. For example, textile products have to meet certain requirements on harmful substances, water use, air pollution, colour resistance to washing, light exposure, and perspiration.
3. Waste Framework Directive
The Waste Framework Directive was developed in 2008 to improve waste management, and protect human health and the environment from hazardous substances. The directive is based on the waste hierarchy establishing an order for managing waste.
It introduces the polluter pays principle, meaning that the polluter should bear the costs of pollution prevention and control measures.