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New California Law Would Require Fashion Companies to Help Recycle Clothes

The state could ban companies who don’t participate.




New California Law Would Require Fashion Companies to Help Recycle Clothes
A Goodwill store in southern Louisiana. Photo: Shutterstock, ccpixx photography

Proposed legislation in California could go a long way toward eliminating textile waste across the state.

State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) recently introduced his Responsible Textile Recovery Act of 2023, which would require California’s fashion companies to help recycle used and unwanted clothes, The Orange County Register reports.

The goal is to divert clothing, towels, curtains, and similar items from landfills. The bill would require apparel brands to set up collection sites where unwanted items could be dropped off, the article explains.

Used items that are still in good condition would be donated to nonprofits such as shelters and Goodwill. Items deemed unsuitable for immediate resale would either be sent to repair shops or recycled.

“If you could put in place a more rational system, where those things got sorted more deliberately, and then, you know, shunted in the right directions, we could really decrease the amount of waste that is coming from the system,” Newman told the outlet.

If passed, fashion producers from around the world would have to join the recycling program by 2026, or risk being barred from doing business in the state.


The potential law has its detractors, including Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association. “This bill will do nothing to help the problem except give people a lot of work to do,” she told the outlet.

Read more at The Orange County Register.



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