Circular Economy Action Plan: How Fashion Brands Can Ensure They Meet New Regulations

How Blue Bite empowers brands to easily meet Circular Economy Action Plan regulations.

September 25, 2023

Nearly seven years after the adoption of the first Circular Economy Action Plan in the European Union, the international organization has proposed new initiatives for fashion brands to adhere to. 

But what does that mean for fashion brands? And how can fashion brands ensure they adhere to the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) regulations? Here’s a look at what to expect and how brands could ensure they’re in line with regulations.

What Is the Circular Economy Action Plan?

The first Circular Economy Action Plan was adopted in 2015 with the aim to achieve a circular economy and have governments, brands and consumers work together to reduce global consumption and pollution.

Over the past seven years, the organization has adopted and created new proposals to further move toward a circular economy.

The EU’s CEAP has touched on everything, including:

  • Going neutral by 2050, with zero net greenhouse emissions
  • Transitioning away from single-use plastics
  • Creating directives on industrial emissions
  • Creating initiatives for regulating sustainable products
  • Helping consumers transition into the circular economy
  • And more

Part of the new regulations in the European Green Deal proposal in March 2022 — with the aim to “make sustainable products the norm in the EU, boost circular business models and empower consumers for the green transition” — includes a strategy for sustainable and circular textiles.

What Are the Circular Economy Action Plan Regulations?

The CEAP has proposals that affect nearly every industry. New proposed regulations that would apply to the fashion industry in 2022 include:

  • Textiles largely made from recycled fibers by 2030
  • Bans on destroying unsold products
  • Requirements for companies to be transparent about the number of textiles and products discarded/destroyed
  • Strategies to make textiles durable, recyclable, repairable and reusable
  • Driving out fast fashion, including overproduction and overconsumption
  • Ensuring full social rights in the fashion production process

Full details can be found in the EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles.

Digital product passports with the ESPR

Under the proposed Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), products will be regulated and required to share information on:

  • Durability
  • Energy use
  • Present substances of concern
  • Recyclability
  • Recycled content
  • Reparability, including a “repair score”
  • Spare part availability
  • And more

Products will also have a “digital product passport,” where items will be “tagged, identified and linked to data relevant to their circularity and sustainability.”

This digital product passport empowers everyone in the supply chain — including manufacturers, distributors, transport services, recyclers, remanufacturers and repairers — to access information on the item and best take action to keep in the circular economy.

In turn, brands are empowered with better tracking and tracing throughout all stages of the circular product life cycle in the circular economy.

How Fashion Brands Can Meet Circular Economy Action Plan Regulations

Tracking, tracing and transparency are the key to fashion brands meeting and maintaining the CEAP’s proposed requirements. But how can brands do that?

With a connected products platform and digital product IDs linked to each individual item, tracking, tracing and transparency throughout all steps of the supply chain and beyond become a reality.

Brands are empowered to be leaders in the circular economy and not just meet but go above and beyond Circular Economy Action Plan regulations.

With a Digital Product ID powered by Blue Bite, each individual item is identified, providing farmers and manufacturers, transport services, retailers, consumers and brands a way to stay connected, input and access data and learn about steps everyone can take to keep products circular.

Sustainability KPIs: Everyone in the supply chain — from manufacturers to transport services — can input and access key performance indicators, including:

  • Waste
  • Energy and water use
  • Recycling rates
  • Carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Impact on ecological systems
  • And more

Constant Use: Suppliers, manufacturers and consumers alike can all partner together to keep items in continuous use.

For example: 

  • Brands can work with farmers, manufacturers and suppliers to source organic and bioavailable materials or repurposed and recycled materials to create garments.
  • Companies are empowered by the connected products platform, linked with quick response (QR) codes and near-field communication (NFC) tags to share information with consumers on how they can repurpose, resell, recycle, refurbish or return items to the earth.
  • Brands can partner with third parties or create independent resell channels to keep items in constant use with secondhand markets.

Easily Meet Regulations: A connect products platform and digital product IDs empowers brands to easily meet Circular Economy Action Plan regulations before it becomes a requirement.

With an accessible and easy-to-use dashboard, brands get real-time data. Companies can instantly make any updates that may be necessary as new regulations arise.

With a connected products platform like those powered by Blue Bite, fashion brands can be leaders in the circular economy and stay on top of regulations — being part of the future of sustainability.


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