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COP26: Textile Exchange calls for preferential tariffs on greener materials

Camilla Rydzek
09 November 2021

Over 50 brands, suppliers, NGOs, and other industry players are supporting global non-profit Textile Exchange’s request to governments for preferential tariffs on materials like organic cotton and recycled fibres.

The request supports Textile Exchange’s aim to accelerate progress towards its industry goal of a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from textile fibre and material production by 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement.

As the non-profit outlines in its policy request environmentally preferred materials, or greener textiles, should be defined as those from certified, verified sources that can be traced from raw material to finished product and that are connected to data-driven environmental impact reductions.

These include for example organic cotton which typically has a lower carbon footprint than conventional cotton, or recycled polyester.

Mitigating narrow price premiums government can incentivise increased production and adoption of greener fibres, as cost is one of the key barriers to their update in the fashion industry.

The policy request builds on Textile Exchange’s Preferential Tariff Project, initiated in 2018, which explored incentives such as tax credits and/or suspension or duty reductions of an imported component or finished, certified product.

Stella McCartney, who supports the non-profits policy request, said: “Governments need to step up by enforcing supply chain transparency, materials traceability and data-driven environmental impact measurement standards.

“I am proud that we release our Environmental Impact Report (previously EP&L) report annually, which measures our impacts and helps us understand them.

“If not, how else would we guide innovation?

“Governments can actively support change by incentivising better materials in order to shift the fashion industry in a more nature-positive direction and reduce its contributions to the climate and biodiversity crises before it is too late.”

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