European Fashion Alliance held its first political fashion round table in Brussels
The European Fashion Alliance (EFA) held its first political fashion round table in Brussels to announce a European wide industry survey which will result in a report on the status of European fashion. The report and positioning of the European fashion industry on sustainability and policy framework will be presented during EFA's conference in Brussels end of 2023.
From left to right: Zuzana Bobikova (Slovak Fashion Council), Carlo Capasa (Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana), Elke Timmerman (Flanders DC), Pascal Morand (Fédération de la Haute Couture de la Mode), Cecilie Thorsmark (Copenhagen Fashion Week), Scott Lipinski (Fashion Council Germany), Caroline Rush (British Fashion Council) and Dr. Christian Ehler (European Parliament), (c) alex kolotouhkina
Last Wednesday June 7 the European Fashion Alliance held its first political round table in Brussels. The event was opened by Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Dr. Christian Ehler, Member of the European Parliament.
"We are here to help you in this turning point of your sector. If there is an industry that is heavily involved in supply chains, it is the one of fashion. We strive for all textiles placed on the European market to be long lived, recyclable and respectful and have several EU initiatives on the way. Firstly, the Ecodesign regulation to boost sustainability and circularity. Secondly, the digital labelling with a digital product passport. Thirdly, the revision of the waste framework directive, which will reduce textile waste. The ambition of this textile strategy together with these initiatives will only bear fruit if we can translate this with the entire ecosystem into commitment and actionable measures." said EU-Commissioner Thierry Breton on the upcoming EU regulations.
The importance of creativity and innovative strength was emphasized, but also the craftsmanship tradition of the European fashion industry. The central topic was the positioning of the European Fashion Alliance to the upcoming European legislation of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) and the associated obligation of a Digital Product Passport (DPP).
The European Fashion Alliance places creativity at the heart of its ambition, recognizing it as the driving force behind the industry's innovation power. By fostering an environment that presents and supports creativity, the alliance aims to elevate European fashion on social and political level as source for solutions.
"We have to start thinking of being proud to be creative. We must address that creativity has a value in our society. We can't reduce everything to numbers. Creativity is the root of everything EFA wants to address. When we talk about new ideas and techniques, we must not see them as harm to creativity but rather that they can enforce craftmanship. To protect it we must provide supportive regulations. For example, AI designed creations should be labeled as such." so Carlo Capasa Board Member of the European Fashion Alliance and Chairman of the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana on the future of Creativity.
The European Fashion Alliance acknowledges and supports the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulations but also remarks that while durability is indeed a key aspect in terms of sustainability, it must be considered in a more holistic way, with both its intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics, and should not be limited only to functional robustness. Furthermore, durability is also the result of consumer behavior and care towards the product and is strongly linked to the products’ quality, reusability and reparability. In line with this, reparability must be promoted and made more attractive to consumers.
In terms of the destruction of unsold products Pascal Morand Board Member of the European Fashion Alliance and Executive President of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode additionally states that "EFA supports the ban of destruction of unsold goods, but this requires a clearer definition that these goods are fit for consumption and sale. Counterfeits, samples and prototypes should be considered unfit. In addition, recycling, upcycling and any form of re-use should not be considered as destruction."
EFA supports the provision of relevant, accurate and reliable information to the consumers and the digitalization of such information as foreseen with the Digital Product Passport. However, EFA strongly warns against any measure that would imply disproportionate administrative and technological burdens on businesses and especially on SME’s, and would disregard, in particular, the challenges related to the textiles’ long and multidimensional supply chain.
"For the first time, with the EFA, European policy makers found an adequate partner to talk about matters of European Fashion. We need EFA to discuss how the European Union makes use of future spending programs to achieve the desired outcomes in your sector. We can’t discuss the future of the fashion sector without having the European Fashion Alliance as our conversation partner." said Dr. Christian Ehler, Member of the European Parliament.
Caroline Rush, Board Member of the European Fashion Alliance and CEO of the British Fashion Council adds that “European collaboration is an imperative step in the protection of creative businesses. At the British Fashion Council, we recently refocused our strategy to champion British fashion as a creative force on the world stage, focusing on responsible growth, relentless innovation and the global and local amplification of the industry. With both the British Fashion Council and the European Fashion Alliance placing creativity at the heart of our ambitions, we recognise the importance of and value in cross-country collaboration in creating impactful change.”
The European Fashion Alliance also announced the first European survey "Status of European Fashion" at the round table. The survey serves as basis for an industry report that will be presented in Autumn 2023 at the next EFA-Conference, to which decision makers of the European fashion industry and EU policy maker will be invited.
With our European wide survey, which will go live on europeanfashionalliance.org as of June 16th, we will collect the current state of knowledge on upcoming European legislative proposals and directives plus the sustainability status of brands. Not only facts and figures, but also experiences of the fashion industry are of high importance to us as this will allow EFA to propose concrete and measurable calls for action." says Scott Lipinski, Chairman of the European Fashion Alliance and CEO of the Fashion Council Germany.
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