Textile Product Labeling: What Are the New Measures Proposed by the EU? #865


The EU’s Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles

On March 30, 2022, the European Union unveiled its strategy for sustainable and circular textiles. This green strategy aims to ensure an ecological and digital transition, addressing social challenges alongside legislative proposals. The adoption of legally binding measures would facilitate the reduction of the environmental footprint of textiles throughout their lifecycle. Additionally, it would enhance the competitiveness of the sector in both domestic and global markets by ensuring stricter standards. Revising existing legislation governing textile labeling is a crucial element of this strategy.

Expected Changes in Textile Labeling Regulations

Within the EU, textile products are currently regulated by Law 1007/2011 on textile labeling. Each textile product carries a label clearly indicating the fiber composition and any animal-derived elements. This regulation sets fundamental requirements for labels, ensuring they meet standards of durability, visibility, and accessibility.

Given the ongoing challenges faced by the textile industry and the decade-old legislation, the European Commission is currently exploring the process for amending these regulations. The Commission has identified three main concerns in the textile industry: (i) segmentation of the European single market, (ii) lack of consumer information, and (iii) sector sustainability.

The current legislation on textile product labeling has a limited scope. It does not provide information on the size and care conditions of the items. The revision of textile labeling rules aims to cover not only textile products but also other similar products such as leather and fur items, clothing, accessories, and household textiles. Footwear is excluded from this scope, as shoe labeling is governed by a separate European directive. Due to discrepancies among member states, the Commission aims to implement harmonized rules to reduce compliance costs for businesses and improve information exchange with consumers.

Following the assessment, the European Commission may require companies to provide additional information within the labeling framework. To enhance circularity in the industry, it plans to create an expanded information system that traces back to the source and extends beyond the existing infrastructure. The Commission is considering including information such as sustainability or circularity parameters, product sizes, and, where applicable, the country of manufacturing (“made in”). Additionally, the inclusion of allergenic substances, the authenticity of leather and fur, and care labeling will also be considered.

The introduction of digital labels is another possibility being explored by the Commission. Based on other EU legal frameworks such as the digital product passport, the review will evaluate the potential for introducing non-language-dependent symbols or codes, as well as a sustainability and circularity label. As noted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), digital labels are an essential solution for providing information to consumers through clear text available in multiple languages

Status of the Review Process

To carry out this revision, the European Commission will rely on thorough assessments and impact studies. Stakeholders and citizens of the European Union will be actively involved in the public consultation process to address pre-identified issues, compliance costs, and its benefits.

The Commission launched a public consultation on December 19, 2023, to gather feedback from the industry and citizens on the need to amend the EU regulation on textile labeling. The consultation ended on April 15, 2024. Industry actors were invited to share their reactions and comments.

Based on the consultation results, the Commission will present a legislative proposal to amend the existing regulation. By participating in the consultation, the fashion industry plays a crucial role in influencing the revision and ultimately the scope of the proposed future rules.

Read more – Fashion United