April 20, 2024

Are Fashion Brands Ready For Climate Commitment Regulations?

With 2025 climate commitments looming, fashion is under pressure to clean up its supply chains.

Barriers persist, but incoming legislation, investment in technology and a gradual shift in brand-supplier power dynamics could propel the industry towards its targets.

While traceability became a buzzword in 2023, global supply chains faced an onslaught of challenges, from cost increases to living wage protests in Bangladesh and China, as well as extreme weather events.

“People in power fail to understand how dynamic and alive supply chains are,” says Dr Hakan Karaosman, Academic and Chair of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion.

“Supply chains are not just static landscapes, they are dynamic social and ecological domains,” Dr Karaosman added.

According to Anja Sadock, Marketing Head at supply chain transparency and traceability platform Trustrace, “Three core trends will define the supply chain in 2024.”

“These include greater industry collaboration through knowledge sharing; better understanding of the need to gather primary data at product level; and the uptake of digital product labeling,” Sadock stated.

Urska Trunk, Campaign Manager at Changing Markets Foundation, points to the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, the Waste Framework Directive and the Ecodesign Criteria for Consumer Textiles.

“These three key frameworks will significantly impact the industry in 2024, when their mandatory reporting requirements begin to roll out,” Trunk said.

“It should act as a wake-up call for fashion companies that they need to embrace change proactively,” she added.

“Brands dragging their heels on compliance only have to look to the US, where the Uyghur Forced Labour Protection Act has been enforced for the last 18 months,” Vogue Business reported.

In this time, $46 million worth of apparel and footwear has been detained by the US Customs Border Protection (CBP), according to data released at the end of last year.

The CBP secured $64 million in additional enforcement budget in 2023, and US lawmakers are looking to strengthen the law by closing existing loopholes.

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