New York would become the first state in the nation to require global fashion brands to disclose their climate and social impacts and take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a bill introduced in the state legislature.
If passed and signed into law, the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act would apply to Armani, LVMH, Nike and other apparel companies with more than $100 million in annual worldwide revenues that do business in New York. Companies that fail to comply with the law may be fined up to 2% of revenues of $450 million or more, according to the legislation.
The fashion industry accounts for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.
The bill was introduced in October and referred to a legislative committee last week. It requires apparel companies to map at least 50% of their suppliers by volume, identifying adverse impacts from greenhouse gas emissions and water and chemical use. Companies would have to set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption across their supply chains. They would also be required to disclose how much and what type of materials their suppliers produce annually and the volume of recycled materials used.
Fashion companies would have to report the wages paid by their suppliers and how that pay compares to local minimum wages and living wages.
Companies must publish the disclosures on their websites and the state attorney general must release an annual report identifying companies found to be in violation of the law. Citizens would be allowed to file civil legal actions to compel compliance with the legislation.
Fines levied against apparel companies would go into a new community benefit fund that would be used to support environmental justice projects.
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