Committee: It’s time for common principles for Nordic producer responsibility regarding textiles
In line with the EU’s plans, which include a producer responsibility intended to lead to fairer competition for Nordic textile production, a new proposal also wants to pave the way for our region in the coming regulatory landscape.
14 Feb 2024

A Nordic consumer purchases between 26 to 48 garments per year — above average globally — and this consumption is expected to increase by 40% over the next 20 years. At a meeting in Stockholm last week, the Nordic Council Committee for a Sustainable Nordic Region unanimously approved its own proposal with the goal to lead the way for a more sustainable fashion and textile industry, both in the region and globally.

The rapid growth of the textile industry is largely based on synthetic fibres, which according to the UN, accounted for less than 20%of global fibre production 20 years ago. Now, the equivalent number is 62%. The new proposal aims to establish better conditions for more sustainable textile qualities such as wool and leather produced in the Nordic region, and reduce the use of the mentioned lightweight plastic-based fibres.

The proposal from the Committee is in line with the EU’s plans. One purpose of it is for the small Nordic markets to collectively play a bigger role in pushing the textile industry in a more sustainable direction. In the long term, common principles for producer responsibility on textiles are expected to become mandatory in the EU and EEA countries. Producer responsibility also includes private clothing imports via e-commerce, which is intended to lead to fairer competition for Nordic textile production. The proposal also intends to address the issue of textile waste being exported to low-income countries outside the EU.

— If we agree on common principles for textile producers, we can create better conditions for the circular use of textiles in the Nordic region. We can reduce the overall environmental impact and also support sustainable production of quality textiles in our region, says Tove Elise Madland, chair of the committee.

If the proposal is accepted by the entire Nordic Council in April, it will be a new recommendation for all Nordic governments.

Top picture: Sarah Andersson/