From PFAS Drinking Water Proposal, Resale News to BFC’s Returns Report: Short Takes

PFAS: On Tuesday, the Biden-Harris administration announced its proposal of the U.S.’s first-ever national drinking water standard for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

The chemical class is a growing concern in fashion too, with period care underwear the latest to come under scrutiny.

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As WWD reported, Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency held firm on its timeline to propose a PFAS drinking water standard. Through this proposal, the EPA is taking strides to protect an estimated 200 million Americans from PFAS pollution, leveraging the latest science and complementing state efforts to limit PFAS.

The proposed rule is undergoing interagency review, and then the EPA will open it for public comment. The proposal will require public water systems to monitor and regulate: PFOA and PFOS as individual contaminants, while regulating four other PFAS — PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and GenX Chemicals — as a mixture.

Everyone from lawmakers, activists to actors weighed in on the news. The agency anticipates finalizing the rule by the end of 2023 mobilizing upward of $10 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Returns: The British Fashion Council released a new report Tuesday together with DHL and consultancy firm Roland Berger on the environmental impact of fashion returns. It found that incorrect fit and lagging product quality were the top returns reasons in the U.K, and a returns charge is the most likely measure to prevent returns. Last year, U.K. clothing returns alone, with 23 million garments sent to landfill, created 750,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

The report, which presents findings from phase two of BFC’s Institute of Positive Fashion’s inaugural Circular Fashion Ecosystem Project, outlined two target outcomes to minimize returns. Firstly, retailers have the responsibility to help consumers make the right choice. Secondly, retailers need to invest in reverse logistics to reduce costs and meet carbon emission targets.

Siobhan Gehin, senior partner at Roland Berger, added that the circular fashion business, albeit harder to achieve, is estimated to grow 18 percent per year from where they were at the beginning of this decade to 2030, whereas the rest of the market is looking at just 3 percent annual growth.

Resale Moves: Ariat International is joining the growing resale movement.

The California-based company announced that it has partnered with resale tech company Archive to launch a secondhand marketplace for its products. The site, called Ariat Reboot, is powered by Archive’s digital platform, though it lives on the website. Initially, the product offerings will be limited to Ariat’s English and Western boots for men, women and kids, with more categories to be added in the future, such as work boots and apparel.

In more resale news, branded resale player Trove released its first platform-agnostic “Brand Resale Index” Tuesday. The five-month study, in collaboration with OSF Digital, included more than 40 brands — among them Patagonia, REI and Phillip Lim — weighted against 147 criteria, including marketing potential.

Patagonia was one of the top programs in terms of brand positioning of resale, adopting 78 percent of marketing best practices, funneling 10 percent of customers over to its “Worn Wear” resale site.

“Just because a model is resale doesn’t mean it’s good in the world,” said Andy Ruben, Trove’s founder. “Most of the resale marketing we see are riders or existing emails going out. [Resale] should absolutely mimic what regular marketing spend is for e-commerce.”

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