6 June 2024

From October, France will pay a bonus to encourage people to have their clothes and shoes repaired rather than throwing them away, the government said.

The move aims to cut down on the 700,000 tonnes of clothes thrown away by French people each year, two-thirds of which ends up in landfills.

“From October, consumers will be able to be supported in the repair of their clothes and shoes,” secretary of state for ecology Berangere Couillard said Tuesday during a visit to the Paris premises of La Caserne, a hub for responsible fashion.

She invited “all sewing workshops and shoemakers to join the system”, to be labelled by eco-organisation Refashion.

Under the scheme, customers will be able to claim seven euros ($7.7) for mending a heel and 10-25 euros for clothing repairs from a 154 million euro fund set up to cover 2023-2028.

In France, 3.3 billion pieces of clothing, shoes and household linen were put on the market in 2022, according to Refashion, which has been instructed by the government to support a more sustainable industry.

“The goal is to support those who do the repairs,” Couillard said, referring to sewing workshops but also those brands which offer repair services.

Modelled after the household appliance repair bonus, the aid is part of a vast reform of the textile sector, one of the most polluting industries on the planet, initiated by the French government since the end of 2022.

Its objectives include forcing brands to have more traceability and to financially support organisations specialising in reusing and recycling clothing.

by AFP