How New York are Working Towards a More Ethical Future of Fashion
Exciting news has been announced for the fashion industry, which will particularly be interesting to consumers concerned about ethical fashion choices, as the State of New York has introduced legislation that speeds up the urgency for fashion companies to manufacture in a more responsible and ethical way. There are various issues with the fashion industry such as water contamination from dyeing textiles, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at a rate of 4-8.6%, and can involve exploitative labour practices in order to produce items quickly and at a low cost.
The responsibility is placed onto fashion retail sellers conducting business in the U.S with an annual worldwide gross receipt exceeding $100 million through the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act. This requires brands to map out their supply chains, reveal the environmental and social impact of their activities and have plans in place to improve the effects of their manufacturing process. Businesses are required to disclose this information on their website within a year of the law being put into place, and fines that are obtained through brands not committing will contribute to funding environmental justice projects. A fine of up to 2% of annual revenues is in place for brands who do not remedy after 3 months of being notified of a violation. The legislation will affect fast fashion brands such as Shein, a business whose products have a very short lifespan due to the low-quality materials that do not decay and therefore have a negative impact on the environment by ending up in landfill; even large luxury multinational brands such as LVMH will be affected.
“I took a course on fashion law and was instantly drawn to working on this before ever working in government. Early last year I connected with the New Standard Institute to collaborate and draft a first of its kind piece of legislation that addresses various systematic problems within the industry. We looked at issues that many industry leaders have been working to address— such as strengthening labor practices and lowering carbon emissions—and set out to tie them all together and create industry wide standards that will enact real change within the field.” – Alessandra Biaggi, State Senator for the Bronx and Westchester.
This isn’t the first time that New York State has put laws in place for the climate, as they implemented the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 that requires a 40% reduction of economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030. Brian Kavanagh, a co-sponsor of the ‘Fashion Act’ in the state senate, has offered his support to legislations that aim to enhance energy efficiency within construction, eliminate new fossil fuel infrastructure, and reduce carbon emissions.
In order to successfully combat the effects of climate change, we must fundamentally improve the practices of all sectors of our society, including the apparel and footwear industry.” – Brian Kavanagh, Senator for Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan’s waterfront.
#ActOnFashion is now being used to encourage movement in New York by the New Standard. With the city being the fashion capital of the world, there is potential for this to influence other areas of the U.S, as well as having an influence internationally. What do you think about the introduction of this legislation?
(Information sourced from: fashionunited.uk, medium.com)
Featured image sourced by: Ralf Vetterle, Pixabay
Image 1 sourced by: Rio Licatompessy, Unsplash
Image 2 sourced by: Markus Spiske, Unsplash
Image 3 sourced by: Tarek Badr, Unsplash