top of page

Is 2024 the Year of Ending Fast Fashion?

By Olivia Madrid

In the ever-evolving landscape of the fashion industry, the echoes of a year marred by relentless climate crises are finally reverberating in the halls of legislation. As the sector grapples with its vulnerability to extreme weather, a pivotal shift in priorities seems imminent. The State of Fashion 2024 report serves as a clarion call, urging an industry-wide recalibration—a shift in mindset, a call to immediate action, and a thorough reassessment of supplier standards by fashion giants.3

At the forefront of this regulatory upheaval stands the European Union (EU), wielding its legislative might with the June 2023 passage of the Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. A sweeping arsenal of sixteen legislative pieces is poised for implementation in 2024, encompassing product design, marketing, waste management, and reporting. The Business of Fashion reports that the EU's gaze extends beyond its borders, with anticipated global repercussions, particularly in Asia, where a staggering 70% of the EU's textiles come to life.

Simultaneously, across the Atlantic, New York's corridors of power host the dynamic duo — Maxine Bédat and Sara Ziff — architects of transformative bills aimed at reshaping the fashion landscape. Bédat, the founder of the New Standard Institute, propels the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act, also known as the New York Fashion Act. Its mission: to hold fashion titans accountable for their impact on both workers and the environment, armed with due diligence, reporting mandates, and formidable fines for noncompliance. Ziff, spearheading the Fashion Workers Act, seeks to regulate model management agencies, fortifying models against exploitative practices.

These bills, introduced in 2022, now stand at the precipice of change. Having navigated the Senate's labyrinth in the prior year, the Fashion Workers Act faces a renewed reckoning. The Fashion Act, not to be outdone, garners support from an impressive coalition, including industry heavyweights Reformation, Patagonia, and Stella McCartney. These legislative offspring, joined by a third bill championing fashion brands' responsibility in recycling old garments, form a trifecta of regulatory prowess. Their collective mission: a comprehensive overhaul of the US fashion landscape, navigating the intricate labyrinth of federal legislative challenges.

These bills tackle a slew of issues — worker exploitation, environmental impact, and supply chain transparency. Their evolution, shaped by industry feedback, positions them as pivotal instruments for transformative change. Yet, their journey is not devoid of challenges. Industry supporters present formidable resistance. The legislative process, a complex dance, demands finesse and perseverance. Change, however, is not merely anticipated; it is inevitable.

As regulations unfurl their tendrils, fashion executives find themselves at a crossroads — a moment to redefine business models. The mandate is clear: achieve supply-chain traceability, decarbonize production, embrace circular design, and explore innovative business paradigms such as resale and closed-loop recycling. Challenges abound, but a mosaic of technological advancements, strategic alliances, and creative solutions emerges as the industry's beacon in meeting the impending regulatory storm. The stage is set, the players are in motion, and the fashion industry braces for a new chapter.


bottom of page