France towards sustainable fashion: AGEC anti-waste law, Triman logo and tax on fast fashion

In a context in which the issue of sustainability in the textile sector is taking on a particularly important role, several European countries are equipping themselves with important standards to accommodate, even anticipate, what the EU has set forth.

France, in particular, is making a significant commitment by initiating, in line with what has been established at European level, a process of transition of the fashion industry towards a higher level of sustainability. This process, which began in 2020, has seen the implementation of various actions, among which the unanimous approval in the Senate of the Loi Anti-Gaspillage pour une Économie Circulaire (AGEC), which aims to change the current economy based on a ‘linear’ basis (produce, consume, dispose) into a ‘circular’ economy. This standard has heralded the start of a transformation across several sectors, including textiles.

In fact, the ERP regulation, the labelling obligation for all products belonging to an EPR chain placed on the French market, the Triman logo, the repair bonus and the digital product passport (currently in the anticipation stage) have taken their structure from this legislation. In addition to these measures, there is the recent proposal by the French government to tax low-cost fashion.

The in-depth study by Andersen’s Sustainable Innovation Desk aims to map the main actions directly implemented by the French government in the textile field, which are decreeing it as the “innovator” country in sustainable fashion. To learn more, we invite you to read the previous in-depth articles on sustainability in fashion: Sustainability in fashion: from fast fashion to sustainable fashion and Sustainable fashion: new measures and main regulations.

Sustainability in France: initiatives to combat fast fashion

The issue of sustainability is now a major priority at the European level. The European Union, starting with the Green Deal, has initiated a series of policies and reforms in the areas of climate, energy, transport and taxation aimed at reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

France has shown itself to be very sensitive to these issues in recent years: from 2020 onwards, it has strengthened sustainability in the sector. This transition is guided by and conditional on the entry into force of the Loi Anti-Gaspillage pour une Économie Circulaire (AGEC), which aims to make the current ‘circular’ economy based on ‘linear’ bases (produce, consume, dispose).

Specifically, the anti-waste law has outlined a series of specific measures for the textile sector, eliminating waste and pollution from the product design phase. It is aimed at everyone: companies, citizens, institutions and can be summarised in a few points:

  • phasing out single-use plastic packaging by 2040
  • eliminating waste by encouraging reuse and supporting charitable organizations
  • implementation of actions to counter planned obsolescence
  • promotion of a better resource management system from the design phase to material recovery
  • commitment to provide better and more transparent information to consumers.

Confirming this inclination are not only the actions taken so far in the textile regulatory landscape, but also the new proposal put forward by the French Government to implement a law to discourage fast fashion through a series of initiatives that are analysed in detail in the attached report.

Extended Producer Responsibility: Material Recovery and Unsold Management

One of the main problems of the fashion system is closely related to the management of unsold goods.

This is where the ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ (EPR) scheme comes in, which implies the implementation of a series of measures aimed at ensuring that producers of goods bear direct financial responsibility or financial and organisational responsibility for managing the phase of the life cycle where the product becomes waste.

Specifically, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) aims to push fashion brands to think about designing more sustainable products, adopting environmentally friendly materials and reducing waste, as well as to promote a circular economy by incentivising separate collection and recycling of their products, for instance through the creation of take-back and donation schemes. Based on these premises, the legislation puts the onus on French textile manufacturers to contribute with a tax to the promotion of the circular economy (through the action exercised by the Refashion collective).

What is collected through this contribution serves to cover the running costs of the organisation and to develop eco-design and material recovery initiatives, as well as to promote more sustainable behaviour and consumption.

To date, textile products subject to the EPR obligation are new products placed on the French market (excluding products not sold on French soil), intended for the end consumer, belonging to the following categories: clothing, footwear and household linen. This means that those affected by the EPR regulation for textiles and footwear are the ‘marketers’, i.e. the companies that first issue invoices with French VAT, regardless of the sales channel used.

Triman logo: mandatory on French labels

Based on the amendment of the EU Packaging Directive, which brought new challenges for manufacturers and retailers, France made special changes to the labelling of packaging and introduced the so-called Triman logo on 1 January 2022, in accordance with Decree No. 2014-1577.

Uniform internationally, it is the symbol that must appear on recyclable packaging and products and meets a need for transparency by providing more information to consumers about recycling or separate collection.

The Triman logo applies to several product categories:

  • clothing and footwear
  • printed paper products
  • household appliances
  • packaging
  • batteries
  • rechargeable batteries
  • car tyres

The labelling only applies to goods and packaging produced for domestic use and will be mandatory for all products released in France as of 1 January 2025.

As compulsory labelling for all products, the Triman logo and Info-Tri will also be subject to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), since a producer is responsible for what it produces, from design to distribution to take-back, and therefore also for proper disposal and recycling.

The Triman logo will therefore always have to be accompanied by information for consumers on proper disposal.

Clothes repair bonus: encouraging circularity and recovery

The repair bonus is also in the context of the ‘anti-waste law’ (introduced in 2020) which already applied to plastic packaging, disposable packaging and the repair of household appliances. France, with the aim of combating pollution and waste, has introduced a bonus for repairing used shoes and clothes: ‘bonus réparation’. A kind of ‘mending bonus’ that provides a direct discount on the invoice for repairs carried out at participating tailors’ and shoemakers’ shops.

This measure was launched in October 2023 with the aim of encouraging a change of mentality in the textile industry.

Through this instrument, it is intended to

  • support craftsmen in the sector
  • increase jobs
  • reduce the enormous amount of waste and pollution resulting from the fast fashion industry
  • reward tailors and shoemakers as, from an economic point of view, the incentive consists of a reimbursement of between €6 and €25 each time they choose to repair their own garment

The total value of the fund is EUR 154 million and has a duration of five years. Artisans, shoemakers and tailors who join the programme by registering on the Refashion platform can benefit.

DDP: France anticipates the introduction of the Digital Product Passport

The digital product passport is one of the most eagerly awaited measures of the circular and sustainable textiles law and the eco-design legislation. As of today, further details on the ‘digital product passport’ launched by the EU Commission are still awaited, but France has adopted Decree-Law 2022-748 ‘relating to the obligation laid down in Article L. 541-9-1 of the Environment Code to inform consumers about the environmental qualities and characteristics of products that generate waste’.

Deadlines 2023

The decree makes it compulsory from 1 January 2023 for manufacturers and importers who declare an annual turnover of more than € 50 million and put more than 25,000 units of products on the market per year to provide information on the product’s environmental characteristics.

Deadlines 2024 and 2025

The obligation has been in force since 1 January 2024 for manufacturers and importers with an annual turnover of more than €20 million and more than 10 thousand units of products per year, and from 1 January 2025 it will be in force for those with a turnover of more than €10 million, also with more than 10 thousand units of products per year.

The information can be expressed electronically or by other means as long as it is easily accessible at the time of purchase (labels, cards, etc.) and includes, depending on the type of product:

  • the presence of recycled materials, expressed in the form “product that includes at least [%] recycled materials”
  • the use of renewable resources
  • the durability
  • the compostability (applies to packaging)
  • the reparability
  • reusability (applies to packaging)
  • recyclability
  • the presence of hazardous materials, precious metals or rare earths
  • traceability
  • and last but not least especially for textiles: the release of plastic microfibres.


For textiles, it is the geographical indication of the country where each of the following operations is predominantly carried out, where they exist: weaving, dyeing and printing, making-up.

For footwear it indicates where the following operations are carried out: stitching, assembly, finishing.

Plastic microfibres

The mass percentage of synthetic fibres present in the product must be indicated if they exceed 50% of the total material used. In this case, it must be indicated on the label “releases plastic microfibres into the environment during washing”.

France ready to tax fast fashion garments

The French National Assembly on 14 March 2024 approved a bill to limit the environmental impact of a model characterised by very short production cycles in order to revive the French textile industry, which has been hit hard by fast fashion consumerism, i.e. ‘low-cost, often remote and relocated textile production’.

The regulation envisages a surcharge on ‘fast fashion’ brands based on the environmental impact of textiles and stricter rules for online sellers. The surcharge will grow progressively and could reach up to €10 per garment by 2030, modelled on the tax that has already been applied in France to the most polluting cars.

Should the bill also find approval in the Senate, three regulations with three main pillars would come into force starting next year

  • inclusion in all e-commerce platforms selling fast fashion clothes and accessories of messages encouraging reuse and repair while also providing information on the environmental impact of the products
  • introduction of a surcharge of up to EUR 10, which may not exceed 50 per cent of the price of the garment (an approach based on the EPR principle and which would be calculated on the basis of the environmental impact and CO₂ emissions generated by the manufacture of the garment, regardless of whether it belongs to fast fashion or not)
  • introduction as of 1 January 2025 of a ban on online advertising campaigns encouraging the purchase of fast fashion clothes and accessories (including paid videos of influencers promoting their sale, unwrapping packages full of clothes)

Looking further into the bill, it is noted that the Chinese low-cost clothing and accessories brand Shein will be one of those brands whose products will almost certainly be taxed. The bill shows that Shein registers on average more than 7,200 new clothing designs per day and makes more than 470,000 different products available to consumers.

The Chinese giant is in a position where it ‘offers 900 times more products than a traditional French retailer’. Also in the crosshairs of the legislation are other fast fashion brands, including H&M and Zara, which is part of Inditex, the Spanish multinational that also controls Bershka and Stradivarius.

The text also clarifies that the revenue generated by these penalties is to be used for the management of the collection, sorting, and processing of textile waste. But also to provide bonuses to companies that choose to produce their garments according to circularity principles, to support research and development, to increase the repair bonus and resources dedicated to reuse, and to finance public campaigns on the sector’s environmental impact and waste prevention.