From October, the French government will pay a bonus to people who have their clothes and shoes repaired – rather than summarily throwing them on the ash heap.
The initiative aims to reduce the 700,000 tons of clothes thrown away in France every year (two thirds of which end up in landfills).
“Consumers will be supported from October in repairing their clothes and shoes,” said Berangere Couillard, French state secretary for ecology, on Tuesday during a visit to La Caserne in France, a center for responsible fashion.
The French government has already set up a fund of €154 million (about R1.3 billion) to compensate citizens for the repair of clothing until 2028. This bonus amounts to €7 (about R143) for the repair of the heel of a shoe and between €10 (about R203) and €25 (about R509) for the repair of clothing.
About 3.3 billion items of clothing, shoes and household linen were offered for sale in France last year, according to the eco-organisation Refashion, which was commissioned by the French government to support a more sustainable industry.
“The goal is to support those who do the repair work,” Couillard said Tuesday, referring to tailors and brands that offer repair services.
The initiative is part of a planned reform of the textile sector, one of the most polluting industries on the planet.
The French government wants to force brands to ensure greater traceability and to financially support organizations specializing in the reuse and recycling of clothes.