Home » Fast fashion, France thinks about a surcharge. The rules that make Paris cutting-edge

Fast fashion, France thinks about a surcharge. The rules that make Paris cutting-edge

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Fast fashion, France thinks about a surcharge.  The rules that make Paris cutting-edge

The bonus is financed by 150 million euros obtained from the contributions that companies must pay based on what is established by Agec, an acronym which – translated – stands for anti-waste law for the circular economy, launched in Paris in February 2020, immediately before Covid. The law – which provides, among other things, for the banning of single-use plastic packaging by 2040 – provides for greater transparency (for example on labels) and is part of a broader strategy that aims to transform the textile supply chain into a time frame ranging from 2023 to 2028. In detail, it aims to build a textile recycling supply chain, to increase the share of repaired garments and provides for the use of bonuses and malus for more or less virtuous practices.

«France has always tried to present itself as a country with a real campaign to present itself as more virtuous than the European average – explains lawyer Arnaldo Bernardi, partner of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution department of Dentons, with long experience beyond the Alps -. Over the years, this has led other countries to follow the French example and introduce similar rules, but improved to take into account the experience gained in France. This is the case, for example, of Germany, with the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act which is along the lines of the «Loi sur le devoir de vigilance», specifying various aspects and establishing a real sanctioning system».

Epr and supervision: the laws already in force for years

France, among other things, had already implemented extended producer responsibility (EPR) well before this was provided for by European Directive 852/2018. The «Code de l’environnement» introduced the EPR for the textile and footwear sector as early as 2007, “beating” all the other countries, including Italy, to the punch. The latter, despite having legislated ahead of the European deadlines (1 January 2025), has not yet operationally activated the textile recycling system: an implementing ministerial decree is missing from Rome, which has been on standby for over a year waiting for the Europe should implement the waste framework directive. Paris has identified – and confirmed until the 28th, the so-called eco-organisme responsible for managing EPR issues for the textile and footwear sector, the Refashion company.

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Another issue on which France has moved in advance is that of supply chain due diligence, a topic which is still under full discussion in Brussels given that the draft CSDD approved by the trilogue of the EU institutions in December has not been approved by Coreper because the qualified majority was not reached: the “Loi sur le devoir de vigilance”, however, dates back to 2017, and obliges large French groups (5 thousand employees in France and 10 thousand globally) to publish a report annual supervision that provides feedback on the environmental and social impact along the supply chain.

«This is certainly a pioneering law, adopted in France after the tragedy of the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. The law imposes on large French companies the obligation to publicly account, with a report, of the measures implemented to limit the risks of serious damage to human rights and the environment linked to the activities of the group companies and their suppliers and subcontractors, even if based in Italy”. The legislation, continues Bernardi, «relies on the OECD guidelines and the OECD and UN principles on business and human rights, but in fact, the possible control activities are limited. The loi sur le devoir de vigilance has been stripped of sanctions in case of non-compliance, declared unconstitutional by the Conseil constitutionnel, and does not provide for a dedicated supervisory authority, two aspects which the Csddd would have liked to remedy”.

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