Tuesday, June 25, 2024

French to get bonus to make do and mend clothes – BBC News

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Image source, JEAN CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP

Image caption, Part of the government’s plan is to create new jobs in the repair sector

France is launching a bonus scheme to persuade consumers to repair their clothes and worn-out shoes rather than throwing them away and buying new ones.

From October, the bonus will come in the form of a discount worth between €6 (£5) and €25 (£21) per repair.

Bérangère Couillard, who is the junior ecology minister, complained that 700,000 tonnes of clothing ended up in landfill in France every year.

The government is to contribute €154m to fund the bonus over five years.

Ms Couillard urged “all sewing workshops and shoemakers to join the system”, which will offer a rebate of €7 for a new heel and €10-€25 for new lining in a jacket, skirt or other garment. The aim is to support the repair sector and create new jobs.

Refashion, a group which has been asked to set up the scheme, says 3.3 billion items of clothing, footwear and household textiles were put on the market last year in France.

But not everyone is impressed with the government’s make do and mend approach.

Business groups warned against “stigmatising” an important French industry, while Right-wing Republicans MP Eric Pauget complained that the government was already mired in €3tn in debt and should “stop throwing the French public’s money out of the window”.

Pascal Morand of the Haute Couture and Fashion Federation was concerned about the possible effect on luxury brands.

“A silk organza shouldn’t be judged as less durable than a polyester one based purely on its physical resistance,” he told Le Monde newspaper.

Another part of the French plan to promote more sustainable fashion involves the clothing industry following new labelling rules from 1 January 2024 that detail the environmental impact of each item.

Under the new rules manufacturers will have to list the amount of water required in making the clothing, the use of chemicals, the risk of microplastic emissions and detailing whether the garment has used any recycled textiles.

The fashion industry is one of France’s biggest sectors, accounting for some €66bn in turnover last year and thousands jobs.

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