Clothing: Millions of New Garments Land in Garbage – Waste – Economy


This year, around 2.3 billion garments are offered in Germany, reported the "Welt am Sonntag", citing the market research firm Euromonitor International. Up to ten percent of them – 230 million units – remained unsold in the retail sector, estimates the textile industry expert Michael Hauf. Other industry experts even assumed twice as much surplus, of about 460 million pieces, as the newspaper reported.

What retailers do not sell ends up in recovery or incineration plants or as junk goods in countries outside the EU.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) spoke of a "fatal development". Clothing is "becoming more of a disposable item," she told The World on Sunday. Many clothes would only be bought for one season, cheaply produced and transported over long distances to Germany. The textile industry needs a "sustainability turnaround".

Custody of goods

The Federal Government is currently working on an amendment to the Recycling Management Act. According to this, manufacturers should in future be required to have a duty of care vis-a-vis their goods, so that less surplus goods are produced and unsold goods are no longer destroyed as quickly as before. "Among other things, we want to make it legal for dealers to align their goods orders more closely to actual customer requirements and to avoid large overhangs," said Minister Schulze.

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