EU textile regulations: an opportunity for change?

Self-regulating sustainability is out


As mentioned in the article published on The Business of Fashion (BoF Team, McKinsey & Company, 2024), the EU has finally begun implementing the long-awaited regulations regarding textile production, waste, and more. Such legislation, which has been discussed over the past year, prevents businesses in the European Union from operating below sustainability standards. The set of legislations cover all the facets of a business, from marketing to finance.
The new regulations include better waste management, higher traceability, more accurate reporting, and more. While this news might be seen as a challenge, businesses should look at it as an opportunity to reevaluate their business model, starting with their marketing plan. A shift towards sustainability marketing will be beneficial, as it will help the industry redefine the meaning of marketing and what sustainability entails.

Will it be enough


Some might argue these regulations came too late, and they might be right. However, it is worth considering that the EU includes many different types of firms with their own working environments and is subject to national legislation, which makes it difficult to come to a joint agreement. The new regulations expect an effort to act towards specific environmental and social issues through different practices, with marketing being in the spotlight. In order to shift away from greenwashing, the EU is now asking for concrete certifications from brands that are promoting their sustainable practices to customers (BoF Team, McKinsey & Company, 2024). In order to achieve good results in sustainability marketing, a company needs to focus on relationships with their customers. The list of changes companies need to make includes seeing the consumer from a holistic perspective and “treating socio-ecological problems as a starting point of the marketing process, not as a set of externalities or constraints” (Peattie & Belz, 2010). In other words, acknowledging and understanding the customer and everything that affects the environment around them will not be an option but a mandatory step. But how will this change things? Only time will tell.


Peattie, K., & Belz, F.-M. (2010). Sustainability marketing – An innovative conception of marketing. Marketing Review St. Gallen27(5), 8–15.

BoF Team, & McKinsey & Company. (2024). The year ahead: What to expect as New Sustainability Rules Roll in. The Business of Fashion. the-state-of-fashion-2024-report-sustainability-regulations-eu-fashion-value-chain/