The Civil Society Shadow European Strategy for Sustainable Textile, Garments, Leather and Footwear

Dear Commissioners,

As the EU and the entire world face an unprecedented health and economic crisis due to the COVID19 pandemic, the textile supply-chain is particularly hard hit. The crisis has further highlighted the urgency of reform in the textile and garment sector. Now is the occasion to reflect on the position of the EU in global value chains, and on our leverage to create new production and consumption models which are fair and sustainable.

We are glad to share with you the proposal of a coalition of 70 civil society organizations to address the various challenges of global textile, garments, leather, and footwear value chains through a comprehensive EU strategy.

This broad coalition with expertise on various policy areas is calling on the European Union to launch an ambitious strategy that will kick-start a global re-design of the textile industry’s broken business model for the post-coronavirus world.

We warmly welcome this civil society proposal as it arrives shortly after the Commission has announced its commitment to a ‘comprehensive EU textile strategy’ in its Communication on the Circular Economy Action Plan (COM/2020/98).

Some of the proposals in this text echo those of the European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2017 on the EU flagship initiative on the garment sector (2016/2140(INI)), while they offer further guidance that we call on the Commission to take into consideration when developing the above-mentioned comprehensive strategy.

The current crisis has given yet more evidence of the interconnectedness of the world in relation to the challenges and risks that we face. We would therefore like to kindly invite you to follow the approach of this civil society proposal in the development of the comprehensive EU textile strategy that has been announced in the framework of the Circular Economy Action Plan.

In particular in what concerns the need to adopt a truly comprehensive approach that deals with the various issues highlighted in this civil society strategy, including human rights, environment, governance, and gender.

Faithfully yours,
Heidi Hautala, Helmut Scholz & Delara Burkhardt

The full list of signatories