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BRUSSELS – The European Union has agreed to ban the destruction of unsold clothing as part of a drive towards reducing waste through greater reuse and recycling. European Parliament now needs to agree on the new ‘Ecodesign Regulation’ before it can enter law.

Proposed new laws come amid growing concerns about excess clothing in the EU Bloc, an issue being further fuelled by the shift to online purchasing and rampant product return rates. At present, many brands state that they never destroy unsold clothing, instead sending it to charitable organisations or selling it via other channels. However, most brands make an exception to this rule if clothing has mould issues or the chemical content is too high. It is not yet known how these exceptions will be affected by new EU laws.

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