COP26: the request for a nuogoes trade policy
The global apparel and textile industry, which generates beyond $ 1,5 trillion in annual revenue and used 109 million tons of fiber in 2020, is actively working to be part of the solution to the climate crisis.
During COP26 over 50 companies and organizations joined forces to ask for a change in policy to encourage the use of less impactful materials for the environment such as organic cotton and recycled fibers.
The request, presented at COP26 by Textile Exchange, is a practical solution to help industry achieve its climate goals with an important but often overlooked political lever: trade policy.
With over 600 members representing brands, retailers and suppliers, Textile Exchange has, for years, made a positive impact on the climate by accelerating the use of low-impact fibers in the global textile industry and now, it is making it an imperative target through the its 2030 strategy: Climate +.
Cost is a major barrier faced by companies looking to shift their supply chain towards more environmentally sustainable materials.
But by mitigating or restricting the price of these materials, commercial mechanisms can be used to incentivize the increase in production and adoption of these fibers, making them more favorable or at least equal in price to their conventional counterparts.
Using "trade policy" to incentivize better practice in sourcing materials is an innovative use of legislation, which works to promote positive action and has the potential to level the playing field financially, paving the way for all those companies engaged in the procurement of more sustainable materials, without the cost reduction being reflected, for example, on the farmers who cultivate fibers.
Environmentally preferable materials should be defined as those from certified and verified sources, which can be traced from raw material to finished product, and which are linked to data-driven reductions in environmental impact. Organic cotton typically has a lower carbon footprint than conventional cotton, for example, as is the case with recycled polyester than virgin polyester.
The preference is however to be directed towards materials that are recyclable at the end of their life cycle.
Textile Exchange has, for years, had a positive impact on the climate, especially by accelerating the use of these materials infashion industry and textiles. Today, thanks to its exponential growth, it is certainly in a unique position, which allows it to work closely with governments and industries.
The request for "commercial policy" is based on the Textile Exchange's Preferential Tariff Project, launched in 2018, which explored incentives such as tax credits and / or suspension or reduction of duties on an imported material or a finished and certified product.
A tangible action to remove the barrier to more sustainable materials: the increase in costs.
Recognizing that policy initiatives may differ by jurisdiction, at COP26, the Textile Exchange urged policy makers to consider working with the apparel and textile industry, with the aim of developing trade policy mechanisms. in this specific sector.
In turn, this would enable the Textile Exchange industry target of one to be achieved 45% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 in the pre-spinning phase of the production of fibers and textile materials.