The sound of the machine in Brussels churning out proposals for laws for a greener industry is becoming increasingly loud. And as IAF President, I recognize that our industry to some extent simply needs legislation to push it out of its unsustainable, low-cost trap.
The Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), an organization that IAF is closely collaborating with, just reported that “Assuming business-as-usual growth for the apparel sector, emissions are projected to be 1.266 Gt (gigatons) in 2030. To stay within a 1.5°C trajectory (45% reduction by 2030), the sector would need to reduce emissions from 0.889 Gt in 2019 to 0.489 Gt by 2030.”Considering that the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of our industry grew by nearly 1% between 2019 and 2021 it is clear that something drastic needs to be done if the apparel and textile industry is to contribute to the GHG reduction that the world has agreed to.
However, some of the ideas of legislators are very light on economic reality. Reacting to the recent Report on the European Union Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, the President of the Portuguese clothing and textile federation ATP, Mário Jorge Machado, said, “The European Parliament seems not to have correctly assessed that sustainability and competitiveness must necessarily go hand-in-hand, requiring a balance between both objectives.”
He adds that it is also necessary to consider the brands and consumers so that they assume their responsibility because only with all the players involved and committed to the objectives and in the action, effective steps can be taken in this evolution.”