With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for fashion shoppers.
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Do you love shopping for clothes? Even if you are a dedicated follower of fashion, you may not be aware of the impact that EU laws have on the fashion items you buy. The textile and clothing sector plays an important role in European manufacturing, and EU laws ensure the quality standards of products sold on the European market. EU law means that something labelled as pure silk is not a cheap copy, and puts rules place on footwear manufacture, helping to protect your interests as a consumer and making sure the goods you buy aren’t fakes.
EU standards ensure that children’s clothes are safe with regards to cords and drawstrings. The EU is also concerned that fashion goods are produced fairly, and is looking to reduce the impact of fashion on the environment (e.g. reducing textile waste)
The EU also works on various initiatives to strengthen European fashion industry competitiveness, such as measures to protect intellectual property rights that mean that European designers get paid for their work. It also helps small and medium-sized fashion enterprises to access finance, and helps stimulate creativity and innovation. Through its trade agreements, the EU also gives fashion designers and textile companies the opportunity to export to the world.
- EPRS briefing on Workers’ conditions in the textile and clothing sector: just an Asian affair? Issues at stake after the Rana Plaza tragedy, 2014,
- EPRS briefing on Benefits of EU international trade agreements, European Added Value in Action, 2017, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=EPRS_BRI(2017)603269