MADRID – The fight against climate change also affects the fashion industry. With the advent of the waste management law, the textile sector is forced to make impactful choices. By 2022, shops will not be allowed to throw away their unsold clothes without consequences.
At the summit on climate change, COP26 held in Glasgow, the phasing out of fossil fuels was one of the main topics. However, the United Nations also names the textile industry as one of the most polluting sectors in the world.
A recent report shows that less than 1% of the world’s total textile production is recycled in a closed cycle. This means all textile waste is reused for a similar purpose.
Waste Management Law to enter into force in Spain at the beginning of 2022
Spain announced a reform of its waste management law earlier this year, which is likely to come into effect in the first quarter of 2022. This law is intended to ensure that the bill for processing and recycling waste is fully paid by manufacturers who put the products on the market. In other words, ‘the polluter pays’.
On Monday, the Spanish news site Expansión.com wrote the fashion industry has been unaffected when it comes to ecological obligations. Various chains have already replaced their plastic bags with paper bags, but that’s about it for the most part.
Forbidden to just throw away unsold clothes
The law will prohibit the textile industry from destroying fabrics and oblige them to reuse waste from 2022. It is expected that manufacturers will pass on the costs of recycling to consumers by introducing or increasing an ecotax.
In concrete terms, it will soon be prohibited that clothing stores throw away their unsold clothing. If shops do, then they will have to pay. Parliament is currently discussing this point, but this could have a significant impact on the fast fashion industry in particular.
Spanish fashion chains must make impactful choices
Once this law comes into effect, fashion chains will be able to slightly increase the price of clothing to afford to properly recycle clothing. Chains can also choose to reduce production so that there is less textile waste. Or both.
Spain follows European guidelines
The bill, sent to Parliament by the Spanish Council of Ministers, should become the first law in Spain to include the EU’s package of measures on the circular economy. Some elements of this new law are a new form of taxation (the ecotax), restrictions on single-use plastic, and more responsibility for the producer. The European directives on this subject will come into effect on January 1, 2025.