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EU Digital Product Passport for Textiles to be mandatory in 2028

In a significant update, the timeline for the implementation of the Digital Product Passport (DPP) within the EU has been extended. Originally anticipated for late 2025, the adoption of the first Delegated Acts (DAs) under the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) is now set for 2026. For textiles, this means the DPP will become mandatory by the earliest in late 2027 or early 2028, representing a major shift in the regulatory landscape for the apparel industry.

What is the Digital Product Passport?

The Digital Product Passport is a key component of the EU’s broader strategy to enhance sustainability and transparency in product supply chains. By providing detailed information about a product’s lifecycle, from manufacturing to recycling, the DPP aims to facilitate better resource management and foster a circular economy. For consumers, it offers greater insight into the origins, materials, and environmental impact of the products they purchase.

Currently, the most favoured DPP option is a scannable QR code on the products label, which brings the consumer to a page of the products sustainability details. However, this is only a favoured method, so we must await the decision from the DA.

Scope of the Textile Delegated Act

The scope of the DA for textiles covers a wide range of apparel products. The proposed list of items that will need to comply includes:

  • T-shirts
  • Shirts and blouses
  • Sweaters and mid-layers, such as fleeces, cardigans, hoodies, and sweatshirts
  • Jackets and coats, including blazers, parkas, outdoor vests, and suit jackets
  • Trousers and shorts, including jeans, capri pants, outdoor legwear, and dress legwear
  • Dresses, skirts, and jumpsuits
  • Leggings, stockings, tights, and socks
  • Underwear
  • Swimwear
  • Textile accessories like headwear, scarves, ties, belts, gloves, and mittens

However, certain textiles will be excluded from the DPP requirements, such as:

  • Smart textiles
  • Electronic or e-textiles
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Medical devices
  • Textile fabrics, yarns, and fibres

Industry Impact and Response

The delay provides additional time for businesses to prepare for the upcoming changes, yet it also underscores the complexities involved in implementing such a comprehensive regulatory framework. Industry stakeholders are actively participating in various pilot projects and testing phases to ensure a smooth transition when the DPP eventually comes into force.

“The extension to 2028 allows us more time to adapt our supply chains and ensure we can meet the stringent requirements of the Digital Product Passport,” said a spokesperson for a major European textile manufacturer. “However, the pressure remains to innovate and improve our sustainability practices.”

Ongoing Preparations

Several pilot programs and testing initiatives are currently underway across the EU, aiming to address potential challenges and refine the processes involved in rolling out the DPP. These initiatives are crucial for gathering feedback and making necessary adjustments before the full implementation.

The delay also offers a window of opportunity for companies to enhance their digital infrastructures and ensure they can handle the detailed data reporting that the DPP will require. With sustainability becoming a key focus for consumers and regulators alike, the DPP represents a significant step forward in promoting transparency and environmental responsibility within the textile industry.

Looking Ahead

As the EU moves closer to implementing the DPP, businesses in the textile sector are urged to stay informed and proactive in their preparations. The extended timeline, while providing some relief, also highlights the ongoing commitment to sustainability and the need for innovation within the industry.

The Digital Product Passport is set to transform the way we think about and interact with apparel products, paving the way for a more sustainable and transparent future in fashion.

Source: UKFT

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