Fashion Industry May Finally Face Accountability for Its Toxic Footprint

"New York is considering a first-of-its-kind law that could impose standards on a little-regulated industry."

"A bill before the New York State Assembly could finally impose some standards on an incredibly polluting but little-regulated industry: fashion. The proposed law, known as the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act, would make New York the first state in the U.S. to have any sort of environmental reporting requirements for the fashion industry.

The law would apply to apparel and footwear companies doing business in New York that earn more than $100 million in annual global revenue—a big umbrella that encompasses high fashion brands like Prada and Armani; mall staples like Nike; and fast-fashion companies like Shein and Boohoo. The law itself is essentially an accounting mechanism, designed to force companies to get a handle on their supply chains, all the way from the farms where raw materials originate to shipping an article of clothing to the customer buying.

It’s often all but impossible for customers to figure who supplies raw materials and manufactures garments for major brands. But under the law, companies would have to map out at least 50% of suppliers and producers across the supply chain. Fashion brands would then have to identify at what points on that supply chain they can have the most influence to lower carbon emissions, as well as where they are able to address a host of other points of concern, including worker wages, chemical production, and water use. They will have to create plans to lower carbon emissions and address the other issues identified in their supply chains."

Molly Taft reports for Earther January 11, 2022.

Source: Earther, 01/12/2022