20.07.23 – Transparency & Sustainability

Global Coalition Calls for Digital Labeling

The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), the International Apparel Federation (IAF), and 128 other organizations from around the world have sent a letter to supranational, national, and local authorities urging them to update labeling requirements for textile, garment, footwear, and related accessories.


"It is crystal clear we need to progress to digital labelling for apparel and footwear. The global environment needs it, the industry wants it, and consumers are expecting it,” said IAF Secretary General Matthijs Crietee. © yavdat / stock.adobe.com


They are advocating for the use of more sustainable and cost-effective digital labels to provide the necessary labeling information.

The letter was signed by 130 entities representing the global fashion and sportswear industry, as well as stakeholders and supporters involved in materials like leather, wool, and textiles. The signatories also include those working towards promoting sustainability, circularity, and authenticity solutions.

According to industry estimates, the current labeling requirements lead to the production of approximately 5.7 m miles (approximately 9.2 m kilometers) of label tape each year. To put it into perspective, this amount of tape would stretch from the earth to the moon and back twelve times annually.

As the letter states, “Shifting to the use of digital labels would significantly reduce labeling waste and significantly aid in decarbonization efforts, resulting in the elimination of at least 343,000 MT of CO2e from industry supply chains. ... With greater demand for more traceability, transparency, and accountability from all stakeholders in the industry’s global value chain, the time for supranational, national and local authorities to act and update these outdated, inflexible, and complex labeling requirements and empower their consumers with more accessible information through greener e-labeling is now.”

Digital labeling will be a prominent subject discussed at the 38th World Fashion Convention organized by the International Apparel Federation (IAF). This year's convention will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from October 22nd to 25th, in collaboration with the Sewn Products Equipment Suppliers Association of the Americas (SPESA). It marks the first time in over twenty years that the event is being hosted in the United States.

Source: www.aafaglobal.org