France will prevent brands and online retailers from destroying unsold or returned consumer products like clothes, electrical items, hygiene products and cosmetics.
The measure would make it compulsory to hand in the products for re-use or recycling. However, products which are not usable after a certain date would have exceptions. Legislation would be enacted to that end. Kering-- the parent company of luxury brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga – has been asked to lead a global movement in order to reduce the environmental footprint that the fashion industry produces. British fashion firm Burberry last year burnt unsold clothes, accessories and perfume worth millions of dollars to prevent them being sold off cheaply. The aim was to maintain the exclusivity and luxury mystique of the brand.
Later it became clear that the practice is relatively commonplace in the industry. Many fashion companies burn items that don’t sell after discounts or they bury them in landfills. More than 500 billion dollars is lost globally every year due to clothing underutilisation and the lack of recycling. The overall benefit to the world economy could be about 192 billion dollars in 2030 if the fashion industry were to implement more sustainable measures.