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Unsold Goods: Next EU Regulations For Fashion Brands

08 June 2022

Find out how Take Off can help your brand reach sustainability targets and solve its excess stock problem.

If all clothing and electronics shipments destroyed in Europe in 2020 were lined up one after the other in a row, they would cover one and a half times the Earth’s circumference. Not only is that bad for business, but it’s also bad for the planet.

It is widely known that brands around the world have historically chosen to destroy or discard excess stock and returned items rather than offer them at a discounted price. Such practices have caused uproar amongst the wider public as these habits are not only incredibly wasteful, but they are damaging to the planet. As a result, legal and advisory boards in Europe have begun to implement regulations as they seek to put pressure on industries to change their current practices and encourage the transition into more sustainable ones. 

In March 2022, for instance, the EU Textile Strategy was launched. Along with a focus on minimum durability and repairability, as it seeks to shift towards a climate-neutral circular economy, the strategy that is expected to be enforced by 2027 will see that the destruction of unsold goods must be disclosed or potentially banned.

Another law that will put pressure on brands to adopt a more sustainable approach is the French Mandatory Labeling Law. Expected to be implemented by 2024, this law will see that the information provided on a label must show the social and environmental impact of the goods and services considered on their entire life cycle. This will include material type, quantity and provenance; Processes and technologies; Air cargo distance and provenance; Deadstock rate and deadstock fate.  

Thirdly, the NY Fashion Act & German Supply Chain Act, which is due to come into effect in 2023, will address human rights and environmental issues along the supply chain. Brands will be expected to map out their supply chains, ensuring that they meet certain reduction targets on energy and greenhouse gas emissions, water, and chemical management, and pay workers a fair living wage.

Regulation is coming for fashion brands and retailers, and as those who do not adhere to certain standards face the potential of fines, it’s better to be ahead of the curve.

Embracing anti-waste initiatives can help brands to take accountability for their excess stock, meet sustainability targets, appeal to the next generation of environmentally aware consumers and work towards creating a better world.

Take Off is committed to the mission of helping fashion brands and retailers find new and innovative ways to reduce their textile waste. Through our extensive understanding of the European and Eastern European markets, we can help brands identify new channels to sell and reutilise their excess stock. With this new business model, we can help brands and retailers sell everything, including returns, samples, and faulty items, tapping into previously missed revenue opportunities but also ensuring that they adhere to these new regulations and reach sustainability targets.