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#11: The government is getting its act together (kinda) + a warning to skip the MDW flash sales
Fashion regulation on the horizon + a deeper look into whether holiday sales are really as good as you think.
In the newsletter today:
Skip the MDW clearout sales, these #benifinds are even better
Fashion legislation on the horizon and what is giving us hope
Article from the Washington Post on ‘Why you should buy everything used”
Re/make’s 2023 #nonewclothes challenge starts June 1st
Did someone forward this to you?
Don’t fall for the trap of MDW sales…
With all these MDW sales this weekend, it can be tempting to buy something new you may not necessarily need because it seems like a great deal...
Even worse, you may think that this ‘great deal’ is only going to be around for a limited time and you will regret not jumping on it immediately.
Time to take a deep inhale…
as we remind you that the secondhand market is available year round and offers even better deals than the deep discounts you see on holiday weekends.
Don't believe us?
To prove it to you we looked into how prices of items found with Beni compare to MDW sale prices from stores like Saks, Abercrombie, Nordstrom, Outdoor Voices, and Madewell. I like big deals and I cannot lie…and Beni (clearly) has the best deals.
If you’re liking this content, please share it with your friends, your mom, your office BFF and the random girl you met once in a yoga class — it would actually make our day (says a girl who refreshes her email every 15 minutes on newsletter day!)
The government is getting their act in order (kinda).
Fashion Legislation on the Horizon
When it comes to building a more sustainable future, there’s a lot that needs to change. And with the current state of the climate crisis, time isn’t on our side. As the IPCC (an international panel of climate scientists) reports dictate, we need urgent, ambitious action. The current fastest way to achieve that is to legislate the changes. While it would be great if fashion brands would make the necessary shifts to circularity on their own because they felt responsible to participate in climate solutions, that isn’t realistic in our current fashion culture that profits off of exploitation. Therefore, legislative intervention is an important component of driving the fashion industry to be more sustainable and ethical.
The good news is that we’ve seen a lot of progress on this front in recent years and there are several new laws on the horizon that will push sustainability in fashion forward.
The New York Fashion Act
New York’s Fashion Sustainability and Social Responsibility Act, or the Fashion Act for short, is a piece of legislation directed at any apparel and footwear brands who do business in New York that earn an annual global revenue of $100 million or more. In other words, any big fashion business that wants to take advantage of the New York fashion market will have to comply with the demands of the Fashion Act. Those demands include 1) mapping their entire supply chain, 2) performing due diligence to take responsibility for their supply chain impact including setting sustainability targets in line with the Paris Agreement, managing chemical use, and improving the lives of garment workers, and 3) paying a noncompliance fee of up to 2% of annual revenues if violations aren’t remedied within 3 months of notice.
What the Fashion Act aims to do is create a standard of accountability and provide the fashion industry direction in addressing its climate impact. Many fashion brands don’t even know the particulars of their supply chain and production practices because they contract it out. You can’t fix what you don’t even know. The Fashion Act would require businesses to identify and take responsibility for every step a garment takes and ensure meaningful actions are taken to address fashion’s climate impact.
Currently, the bill (identified as A8352/S7428) has been introduced in the New York State Legislature and assigned to the Consumer Protection Committees. Upon receiving feedback, an amended bill is expected to be released this legislative session where it must be put on the agenda, be passed in both the Senate and Assembly, and then signed by the governor before becoming official.
The FABRIC Act
The FABRIC Act stands for Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change. The primary goal of the FABRIC Act is to position the U.S. as a global leader in responsible garment manufacturing and create standards to end forced labor and wage theft. The propositions of the bill are aimed at establishing transparency, improving workplace pay, and incentivizing domestic garment production. Specifically, the FABRIC Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to require garment producers and contractors to register with the Department of Labor, holds both brands and their manufacturers accountable for workplace wage violations, and eliminates piece rate pay until minimum wage is met. Additionally, it incentivizes bringing clothing production to the US via a grant and a reshoring tax credit.
The FABRIC Act (identified as S.4213/H.R. 8473) was introduced in the Senate by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand last year and then referred to the Committee on Finance. It was also introduced in the House and referred onto two relevant committees there. In order to move past the committees, the bill needs to gain more cosponsors in both the House and the Senate to build momentum. Learn how you can take action and let your representatives know the importance of pushing this legislation forward here.
The EU’s European Green Deal
In 2019, the European Green Deal was introduced to transition the EU economy to be more sustainable. As a result, new action plans and legislation have been put forward in support of the larger strategy of the European Green Deal and the EU’s goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050. A portion of that transformation is directed at adopting a circular economy that significantly reduces waste and designs products to be long-lasting, sustainable, and circular from the start with reuse, repair, and recycling potential as laid out in the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP). While the CEAP addresses several industries from food to construction to transportation, it specifically lays out a plan for textiles in the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles.
The EU’s circular textile strategy aims for the EU textile market to create products that are “durable, repairable and recyclable, to a great extent made of recycled fibers, free of hazardous substances, produced in respect of social rights and the environment.” The strategy details several action steps to achieve these goals, including setting design requirements, monitoring green claims, and emphasizing Extended Producer Responsibility.
While this is in Europe, these policies will undoubtedly impact how the U.S. moves forward with fashion regulation. For example, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is re-evaluating the Green Guides which create guidelines for how companies communicate about their sustainable efforts and could result in stricter rules around green claims, especially given the recent global trend of enforcing tighter marketing regulations to mitigate greenwashing.
A More Transparent Future
With all the current buzz around legislating climate action, one thing is for sure— companies are going to have to step up to the challenge of understanding, reporting, and acting on their impact. Without a clear picture of how a brand operates from raw material sourcing to factory working conditions to GHG emissions, it’s almost impossible to take meaningful steps towards a better, more sustainable industry. That’s why many of these proposed bills start with building transparency and supply chain disclosure. Transparency allows for visibility and scrutiny which creates accountability. All of this is a prerequisite to the important actions and changes the fashion industry needs.
While building a better future requires a cultural shift along with policy changes and structural transformation, legislation is an essential component to creating a world we want to live in given the urgency of the climate crisis.
Article worth reading: Why you should buy everything used from the Washington Post
The author, Michael Coren, decides he isn’t going to buy anything new for a month, and then writes about his experience and observations.
Across the internet, I discovered a bustling secondary market ready to fulfill nearly all my shopping needs with something someone else had once owned. These were not tattered castoffs or bargain-bin specials. The online “recommerce” ecosystem was full of premium, quality goods at a price and, at times, convenience, rivaling Amazon’s shopping cart.
…“used” has shed much of its stigma. We’re headed for a world where buying used may become nearly as easy as buying new for many goods, and maybe even preferred.
We think he is on to something, and we’re ready to help make it happen. Afterall, our mission is to transform the norms of consumptions by making resale as easy and convenient as buying new. Challenge accepted!
Join the Beni community
Welcome to ‘Out with the New’ by Beni! Join us every week as we demystify the world of resale. We’ll share the latest Beni news, insider tips for shopping secondhand, and guide you through the trends shaping the future of fashion.
Re/make launches their 2023 #nonewclothes challenge
Speaking of challenges, Re/make just launched their 2023 #NoNewClothes challenge for anyone looking to try their hand at resale with a community of supporters.
Reset your relationship with fashion by taking the 2023 #NoNewClothes Challenge! From June 1st to September 1st, join Remake's global community as we challenge ourselves to press pause on the purchase of new clothing, and instead reflect on how to address overconsumption and remake the fashion industry as a force for good!
By challenging yourself to buy 'no new clothes' - whether that's not buying anything at all, or prioritizing re-use and secondhand, you decide! - you will reduce your carbon footprint, build healthy psychological habits, limit the waste you send to landfill, and keep your hard-earned dollars from companies that don't provide their garment workers living wages or safe working conditions. Are you in?
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