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New US bill aims to regulate ‘fast fashion’ in Washington

By Rachel Douglass


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Seattle, Washington. Credits: Unsplash.

A new Washington bill sponsored by state representative Sharlett Mena has been introduced in an attempt to regulate the fast fashion industry in the way of securing a more sustainably transparent future for the sector.

The requirements of the bill, a hearing for which Mena held on Thursday, specifically address fashion manufacturers doing business in the state that have an annual global gross income exceeding 100,000 dollars.

As such, these large companies would ultimately be responsible for disclosing their environmental due diligence policies, processes and outcomes, including both impacts and targets for prevention and improvement.

Similar bills introduced in New York and California

Related businesses would be required to introduce such details from January 1, 2027, as well as insights into how they track their targets which, if not met, could see penalties imposed by the state Department of Ecology.

Information is to be present on a retailer’s website homepage by July 1, 2025, the bill stated, or through a written disclosure, with due diligence to further cover supply chain mapping and impact reporting, aligning with the UN’s guiding 21 principles on business and human rights.

Targets to be included in a business’ report are reductions in the realm of energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water and chemical management; annual volume of material produced; the displacement of recycled materials compared to growth targets; and the tracking of due diligence implementation and results.

Washington’s bill follows comparable acts introduced in New York and California, both of which would similarly require fashion businesses to be transparent regarding their environmental and social impact.

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