French companies could face environmental surcharge on ultra-fast fashion products

French companies could face environmental surcharge on ultra-fast fashion products

By Ashmeeta Subra  April 11th, 2024

The lower house of the French parliament has approved a bill introducing measures to slow down fast fashion production.


The bill will put a surcharge on low-cost fast fashion items and ban advertising for cheap textiles. While measures still require a vote in the upper house parliament, France is poised to become the first country in the world to legislate limits on fast fashion excess.  

“Textile is the most polluting industry,” said Anne-Cecile Violland, deputy of the French National Assembly, noting that the sector accounted for 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and was a major polluter of water.   

France has already taken steps to curb overconsumption and waste through the government's anti-waste law for a circular economy, enacted in 2020. Last year, the country launched a repair scheme to encourage citizens to repair shoes and clothes instead of buying new or fast fashion items, which contribute to textile waste.  

At the time, it was estimated that about 700,000 tonnes of clothing are thrown away every year, with two-thirds of it going to landfills. Under the scheme, citizens could claim payments for specific repairs, such as at €7 ($11.47) for mending a shoe heel and €10 ($16.38) to €25 ($40.96) for clothing repairs like replacing fabric lining.   

The new bill penalising fast fashion will determine fast fashion based on criteria such as production volumes and turnover speed of new collections. A surcharge linked to fast fashion’s ecological footprint is planned from next year, starting at €5 ($8.19) an item and increasing to €10 ($16.38) by 2030, not exceeding 50 per cent of an item’s price tag.  

Violland explained that the proceeds from the charge would be used to subsidise sustainable clothing producers, allowing them to compete with fast fashion brands while providing high-quality, durable products. Once the law comes into force, more specific details will be published to inform fast fashion producers. 

Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


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Ashmeeta Subra

With background in international relations and marketing communications, Ashmeeta is excited to use her skills to encourage positive environmental actions through Planet Ark. She believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference and be good stewards of our planet. Outside of work, she loves spending time in nature and enjoying downtime at the beach.

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