GFA Interview Series: The Policy Pulse

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We are pleased to introduce the inaugural edition of “The Policy Pulse” – a new format where we dive deep into discussions with some of the most relevant policymakers who are playing a key role in defining the future of the textile industry.

We are thrilled to feature Susana Solís Pérez, a distinguished Member of the European Parliament who has played a pivotal role in steering the European Union towards more sustainable and circular textile policies. Solís Pérez has been instrumental in the configuration of the European Parliament’s report on the European Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. Her efforts have also been crucial in the revision of the Waste Framework Directive, amongst others.

Looking back over the past five years of mandate, what do you consider to be the most significant achievements in EU textile policy

Europe has set ambitious sustainability goals with regulations such as the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles and the Review of the Waste Framework Directive. This shift from a throwaway culture to a circular one aims for more durable clothing with less environmental impact, by implementing an extended producer responsibility scheme, banning the destruction of unsold products, and evolving from a linear to a circular mindset.

 

As the EU elections approach, what key priorities do you believe should be maintained and built upon by the new EU Parliament in terms of advancing textile policy to address ongoing challenges such as social and environmental sustainability?

In recent years, an immense number of high standard regulations and directives have been adopted, so many that it is challenging to keep track. We must focus now on helping our industries to implement these European policies. It is crucial to preserve European competitiveness and to ensure a fair playing field, especially when our international counterparts do not adhere to similar standards.

 

How has your involvement in EU textile policy shaped your appreciation for the industry and its potential for driving sustainability and innovation?

Working on the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles has underscored for me the need for ambitious yet pragmatic approaches to transform the textile industry from a linear to a circular model. This involves reducing environmental and social impacts, but also considering the international competition the industry faces, where pragmatism is crucial to determine feasible measures.

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