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EU Takes decisive action against ‘Green-Washing’ and Premature Fashion Product Obsolescence

BTJ Desk Report
EU Takes decisive action against ‘Green-Washing’ and Premature Fashion Product Obsolescence

The European Parliament and Council have recently reached a preliminary agreement on a set of regulations designed to combat deceptive environmental assertions, commonly known as ‘greenwashing,’ and the premature obsolescence of products. These regulations will have a significant impact on labeling and marketing practices within the textile and fashion industry.

This new prohibition on greenwashing and regulations related to product durability represents an updated version of a previous draft proposal from March 2023, which focused on curbing misleading commercial practices within the EU. Biljana Borzan, the rapporteur for the Parliament, highlighted a surprising statistic: 60 % of European consumers are unaware that all products come with a legal guarantee or a minimum two-year warranty.

The new regulations include bans on various practices, including:

Using vague environmental claims like ‘environmentally friendly’ or ‘eco’ without substantiated evidence of significant environmental benefits.

Making commercial claims about a product’s limited lifespan without providing relevant information about its durability.

Employing claims based on emissions offsetting schemes that inaccurately suggest a product has a neutral or positive environmental impact.

Displaying sustainability labels without validation from approved certification schemes or public authorities.

Making unfounded durability claims about usage time or intensity under normal conditions.

Encouraging premature replacement of consumables, such as printer ink cartridges.

Presenting software updates as necessary improvements to functionality when they only enhance features.

Falsely advertising products as repairable when they are not.

Borzan also highlighted the Parliament’s efforts to clarify environmental claims, ensuring they are supported by evidence, and prohibiting claims based on emissions offsetting. This regulatory action aims to enhance transparency and accuracy in environmental communication.


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