The “Fashion Act” coming to a Legislature Near You

Are laws coming or might soon be in place that could possibly change latex fashion production? Will cultural or ecological concerns infiltrate wardrobe creation (good or bad) beyond what we have most recently suffered from supply chain breakdowns and the economic crush of the pandemic? Are changes afoot that could impact us for many years to come, both good and bad?

Although there have been measures taken in Europe (France and the European Union specifically) to implement governmental regulations on couture production—curtailing waste, researching labor practices, etc.—nothing so wide-reaching has yet been attempted in the U.S. fashion industry. But at the beginning of the year, Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assembly Member Dr. Anna Kelles announced their Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act, also known as the “Fashion Act.” This legislation would strive to hold the biggest fashion businesses accountable for how they impact matters “environmental and social.” U.S.-based companies like Gap Inc., Tapestry, Capri Holdings, and international brands also would fall under the scrutiny of the bill. 

The “Fashion Act” seemingly would impact the industry in certain significant ways, many of which seem to be ecological. First, companies would be required to report on a minimum of 50% of their supply chains, from the farms where raw materials are sourced, up to the vendors fashion brands partner with for their shipping and distribution. Secondly, producers would set new goals, needing to outline their strategies for achieving milestones—climate-related emissions regulations, energy and chemical management, etc.—in accordance with targets established in the Paris Agreement. 

As can be seen by accessing the website above, there are plenty of celebrity endorsements for this bill, Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Zooey Deschanel, to name but a few. And there’s no denying the worldwide climate change debate, a need for better labor practices, and the bottom-line economic impact of the past two years. But where the Fashion Act, if made into law, could lead remains to be seen. 

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