Questions and answers on EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles

Read the FAQ and download the strategy.

In clothes and furniture, medical and protective equipment, buildings and vehicles, textiles are the fabric of everyday life.  European consumption of textiles has the fourth highest impact on the environment and climate change, after food, housing and mobility. It is he third sector for higher use of water and land use, and fifth for the use of primary raw materials and greenhouse gas emissions.

The average European throws away 11kg of textiles every year. Around the world, a truckload of textiles is landfilled or incinerated every single second. Global textiles production almost doubled between 2000 and 2015, and the consumption of clothing and footwear is expected to increase by 63% by 2030. In parallel with this relentless expansion, negative impacts on resources, water, energy consumption, and the climate continue to grow. The need to address the production and consumption of textiles is now more urgent than ever before.

The textile sectors employs over 1.5 million people in over 160 000 companies, with a turnover of €162 billion in 2019. Composed essentially of small and medium-size enterprises, the textiles ecosystem needs to be accompanied to foster its post Covid-19 recovery and to strengthen its resilience and increase its attractiveness to a talented and skilled workforce. Europe has always been and should remain home to innovative brands, creativity, know-how and quality textile products.

The EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles presents a new approach to achieve these objectives in a harmonised manner. The Strategy implements  commitments made under  the European Green Deal, the new Circular Economy Action Plan and the Industrial Strategy, and aims to create a greener, more competitive and more modern sector, more resistant to global shocks. 

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