A fashion forward approach: With the EU’s 2019-adopted Circular Economy Package in mind, how can the EU ensure a competitive yet resource-efficient development of the fashion industry in Europe, working towards sustainable consumption patterns?

Submitted by: Roemer Declercq (NL), Livia Draaisma (NL), Madelijn Gould (NL), Sophie Hellebrekers (NL), Elaine Janssen (NL), Carolina Martins (PT), Wessel Meekel (NL), Mare Vries (NL), Margarida Conceição (Chairperson PT)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Regretting that inferior costs incentivise fast fashion companies’ production to often take place in countries with low environmental standards,
  2. Conscious that considerable economic costs of switching raw materials refrain fashion companies from employing environmental-friendly alternatives, leading to:
    1. Water scarcity through farming and handling of natural fibres,
    2. Discharge of microplastics into water resources due to non-decomposable synthetic fibres,
  3. Pointing out that the location of production facilities in less-developed countries causes a significant release of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) during the distribution process,
  4. Concerned by the consumer pressure to take part in fast consumption rhythms brought about by the continuous release of a high number of collections,
  5. Recognising that the lack of available information regarding the fast fashion industry’s supply chain results in consumer obliviousness of the consequences of their consumption choices,
  6. Alarmed by the growing global middle-class’ effects on the increasing fast-fashion clothing demand,
  7. Aware that deficient quality and durability combined with low prices lead to a short usage time of garments,
  8. Bearing in mind that most fashion brands destroy and dump clothing due to overproduction,
  9. Reminding that fashion suppliers have little obligation to recycle or reuse unsold clothing,
  10. Emphasising that consumers are unaware of the environmental benefits of recycling and reusing garments,
  11. Noting with regret that due to a lack of available technology most clothes have to be down-cycled;

Companies’ environmental standards

  1. Asks the European Commission to propose higher environmental standards for the production of  garments sold in the EU;
  2. Further asks the European Commission to oversee that these standards are followed in the countries where the clothes are manufactured;
  3. Suggests the European Commission to subsidise companies who wish to switch to a production model that uses environment-friendly fibres, such as bio cotton or manmade cellulosics;
  4. Invites Member States to create Special Economic Zones (SEZ)1 in their national territories in order to shorten  companies’ supply chain and decrease CO2 emissions;

Consumers’ Conduct

  1. Further suggests the European Commission to subsidise fashion companies’ transition to more sustainable business models;
  2. Urges fashion companies to be more transparent regarding their supply chain; 
  3. Strongly recommends the European Commission to establish an eco-labelling system detailing the garments’ environmental footprint;
  4. Endorses the European Commission to financially support more environmental-friendly clothing products and companies;
  5. Recommends the European Commission to set higher standards for the quality of garments;

Reusing and Recycling

  1. Further invites the European Commission to support the implementation of the Just-in-Time principle2 to reduce overproduction;
  2. Calls upon the European Commission to propose legislation on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)3;
  3. Encourages Member States to inform the public through a social media campaign about the perks of recycling and reusing, incentivising it to donate or re-sell their garments;
  4. Requests the European Commission to invest in research and development of upcycling methods.


  1. A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a geographical area in which economic regulations differ from the rest of the country. They are usually used to attract foreign investment and/or foster production.
  2. The Just-in-Time principle is an inventory system that aligns raw material orders with production schedules, ensuring that companies only receive the goods as they need them for production. This management strategy increases efficiency and reduces waste.
  3. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy approach in which producers and importers are made responsible for recollecting and reusing garments.