When the Fashion Act was introduced in New York in January, it received some support and a lot of criticism, and if passed, the bill could deliver emission cuts and other supply chain improvements that its supporters wanted from the start.
As the climate laws passed in last week’s US midterm elections didn’t hit the fashion industry, pressure is being put on fashion bills to unite stakeholders and spur change.
Updates to the bill include stricter chemical use requirements and climate targets, more specific due diligence standards and expanded enforcement provisions. Most importantly to many critics, the amended bill now establishes joint and several liability between fashion retailers and garment workers, giving garment workers direct legal access to a lost wage record. This means you can file a lawsuit. This was not in the first version.
Activists who criticized the original bill say it’s a big improvement. Aisha Barenblatt, founder of the nonprofit Remake, said of the proposed amendment to include Mark’s responsibility for workers’ rights: “New York’s fashion law is now making this powerful worker-driven legal concept international. I hope they take it seriously,” he said. said. However, he says there are gaps that need to be filled before he fully supports the bill. “Now the bill is moving in the right direction, but I urge lawmakers not to leave room for loopholes or misunderstandings.”
Sustainable fashion legislation is gaining momentum, but fashion law is by far the most comprehensive, covering social and environmental impacts in one fell swoop. California restricted single-use plastic in August this year following the Senate’s passage of Bill 62 in 2021, which guarantees a minimum wage for apparel workers and holds brands accountable for violations. Also, in May, New York State Senator Kirsten Gillibrand launched a landmark campaign to create accountability in fashion and create real institutional change (tela), hoping to implement health and safety measures similar to those adopted at the federal level. Moving away from corporate self-regulation to broader legislation is not unique. to the United States. It lays out proposals to limit the use of chemicals, promote extended producer responsibility (EPR), and uncover cyclicality through digital… product data sheets and more.
Under the original Fashion Act, fashion companies that sell products in New York and generate more than $100 million in revenue must map at least half of their supply chain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water impacts, chemical exposures such as substance use should be disclosed. product. Growth reduction and transparency advocates were particularly encouraged by the requirement for brands to report total material production, brands that cannot claim a reduction in material impact when actual volume and floor area increase.
In terms of social impact, the Fashion Act encouraged brands to disclose the average wages of their employees and imposed fines on brands for not following responsible business practices. These fines go to a public fund used for environmental justice projects in New York.
Instead of creating a new set of sustainability standards in an already overburdened space, the revised Fashion Law will introduce science-based targets, zero emissions of hazardous chemicals (ZDHC) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) using existing initiatives. such as mandatory deadlines. Conscientious structure as a minimum requirement for developing a trademark. Other changes include efforts to curb sewage pollution from textile processing, enhance biodiversity, and promote responsible purchasing practices. According to the bill, companies will also have to reduce their climate impact in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement. This is an important goal that the fashion industry is currently unable to achieve. Those who do not risk being fined 2%