In a bid to combat the harmful effects of fast fashion and reduce waste, France has introduced an initiative that seeks to subsidize clothing and shoe repairs. The Guardian reports that France discards approximately 700,000 tons of clothing annually, with two-thirds of it ending up in landfills.
The project, unveiled by Bérangère Couillard, the secretary of state for ecology, involves providing discounts for repairs ranging from 6 euros ($7) to 25 euros ($28), depending on the complexity of the fix. Couillard believes that this program will encourage individuals who own high-quality shoes or ready-to-wear items from reputable brands to opt for repair instead of disposal.
The implementation of this initiative falls under the responsibility of Refashion, an organization dedicated to supporting the collection, repair, and reuse of clothing, household linen, and shoes sold in France. Refashion also collaborates with brands to promote eco-design practices and contributes to the development of the recycling industry within the country.
In addition to the repair subsidies, Couillard plans to introduce new clothing labeling regulations in 2024 to further promote sustainability. These regulations will require companies to disclose the environmental impact of their products, including factors such as water consumption, microplastic emissions, and the use of chemicals during production.
The labels will also specify the item's country of origin and material composition, providing consumers with increased transparency. By fostering a circular economy and encouraging responsible consumption, France aims to reduce the environmental footprint of the textile industry. This industry is projected to contribute approximately 25% of global greenhouse emissions by 2050. The project will receive funding as part of the government's commitment to supporting sustainable initiatives.