New York’s Fashion Sustainability Act Aims to Hold Brands Accountable for Their Environmental Impact

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"New York is taking the lead in fashion sustainability. Here's how its Fashion Sustainability Act could change the industry for the better."

New York’s recent legislation may be a game-changer for the fashion industry. The fashion industry, including both luxury brands and fast fashion brands, tells us what the newest and hottest trends are. But these trends also show us how disposable and wasteful the industry can be.

If you enjoy keeping up with the latest fashion fads, you may keep up with New York Fashion Week, a semi-annual event that features fashion collections from designers across the globe. Fashion lovers everywhere look forward to the newest, trendiest looks on the runway. From fashion shows to press panels to live streams, it’s one of the most glamorous events in the world.

However, what’s not so glamorous is the impact the fashion industry has on the environment. That’s why the New York State Senate has proposed a new bill: The Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act.

What Is New York’s Fashion Sustainability Act?

fashion sustainability act

The proposed legislation “requires fashion retail sellers and manufacturers to disclose environmental and social due diligence policies.” If this bill is passed, fashion brands with over $100 million in revenue must disclose at least 50% of their supply chain, from raw materials to the final production stage. This includes greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, water usage, and even employees’ wages.

The bill also applies to international brands doing business in New York. And companies will have 12 months to comply with the transparency aspect.

The bill was first introduced by The New Standard Institute, a nonprofit organization that aims to make the fashion industry more sustainable. According to the organization’s research, the apparel and footwear industries are responsible for about 4-8.6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the industry is infamous for generating abundant plastic and textile waste and potentially exploiting workers.

Now, the legislation is sponsored by Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, Assembly member Dr. Anna Kelles, and a long list of fashion sustainability nonprofits. While it may take a while, many are hopeful the bill could be passed later this year. And, if passed, New York will be the first state to take on fashion sustainability.

The Takeaway

fashion sustainability act

The Fashion Act will encourage fashion brands to be more mindful of their supply chain’s impact on the environment, and it may encourage brands to make eco-friendly changes to their production practices. Plus, this legislation sets an example for other states, and other global fashion capitals, to follow.

It’ll also help consumers like us be more conscious of where we spend our money. Holding big brands accountable urges a fashion revolution in which the environment is prioritized. As conscious consumers and fashion lovers, we have a responsibility to support brands that put the planet and the people first.

With the Fashion Act, we’re able to make more environmentally conscious purchases. Choosing to buy from more sustainable brands creates a demand for sustainable industries, including the fashion industry.


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New York is taking the lead in fashion sustainability. Here's how its Fashion Sustainability Act could change the industry for the better.

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