Why We Need The New York Fashion Act

Spring has sprung, which means only one thing - the vote on the proposed New York Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (also known as the Fashion Act) is due to take place… and brands would perhaps be wise to familiarise themselves with the legislation, so they know what their new responsibilities are likely to be.

The new law is being targeted towards clothing and footwear brands selling their wares in NYC, making more than $100 million in global revenue. 

It will mean they’ll have to start publishing social and environmental sustainability reports detailing the impact of their entire supply chain, covering everything from water consumption to fair wages and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as setting out the actions they’ve taken to mitigate the risks.

It’s an interesting time for brands, that’s for sure, and some big changes are expected to come if and when the bill is passed. 

Transparency is becoming increasingly essential in the face of the climate crisis - and it’s also something that consumers are increasingly starting to demand. 

Of course, this is no bad thing but it does mean that businesses will need to make sure they’ve considered the potential consequences of making enhanced disclosure requirements where their operations are concerned.

The end goal, naturally, is to drive environmental improvements, which, no doubt, we can all agree is absolutely vital… but there are some companies out there that may not be taking the situation seriously and hopefully this new Act will help reduce cases of greenwashing, where brands wax lyrical about their eco-friendly operations when, in fact, they’re anything but.

Excitingly, if this bill is passed it will mean that New York becomes the very first state in the country to address the climate change impact of the fashion industry… but then, we’ve always been ahead of the game, haven’t we!

Under the Act, companies will need to map at least 50 per cent of their entire supply chain, from the origin source of raw materials all the way to where the garments are made. They’ll also need to disclose material production volumes and demonstrate where and how they’re taking action to reduce their biggest social and environmental impacts.

There are lots of problems facing the fashion world where the planet is concerned, unfortunately. The industry consumes a tenth of all the water used industry-wide, for example. 

Textiles and the dyeing process makes use of toxic chemicals that end up in streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Synthetic materials are the main reason why there’s so much microplastic in the sea.

The global fashion industry is also responsible for more carbon emissions each year than all the international flights and maritime shipping combined… which is why it’s so important that companies do review their operations and start doing business with sustainability in mind.

Looking for sustainable wholesale restaurant aprons? Get in touch with the Jones Supply Co team today!

March 21, 2022 — Jacob Blakey