Among the new regulatory exchanges expected for the new year, is the french obligation to inform the consumer on the environmental qualities and characteristics of textile products (Article 13.1 of the AGEC law – Anti Wastage for a Circular Economy – which comes into force from 1 January 2023). As a reminder, this law, which includes 130 articles, aims to transform the linear economy into a circular economy: better production (by limiting waste and preserving natural resources, biodiversity and the climate) is one of its objectives.
This obligation concerns companies in the clothing, linen and home textiles and footwear sector, which have an annual turnover of more than 50 million euros in France for all the products concerned, and which place on the market more than 25,000 units of products belonging to the three categories mentioned above. The information to be transmitted is extensive. This information can appear on a dedicated website or web page which must include a sheet entitled “Product sheet relating to environmental qualities and characteristics”, unique for each model, complete with name and reference.
A small detail: the law states that this information must be provided in a dematerialised form, visible and accessible free of charge, at the time of purchase. This means that the consumer must be able to access this information by searching on the internet. Therefore, there is no requirement for a physical display on the product or in the shop. The use of a QR code is not mandatory either. The information must be kept for two years after the last unit of the product concerned was placed on the market.
The information to be transmitted. There is a great deal of information to be provided for textile articles of clothing. For example, the overall proportion by mass of materials from recycling in the finished product must be communicated (if the product incorporates recycled materials, of course), and the presence of SVHC hazardous substances present in a concentration > 0.1 per cent mass/mass. The list of these substances is mentioned in Article 59 of the REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006). A second list will soon be established by the Ministry, the release of plastic microfibres if the textile article contains more than 50 per cent of its weight in synthetic fibres.
Stocks are not concerned
Traceability is also concerned since it will be necessary to indicate the countries where the following operations are mainly carried out when they exist: weaving/knitting, dyeing & printing and making up. On the other hand, in a press release dated 8 December 2022, the TLC eco-organisation, Refashion, announced that there was no information relating to recyclability to be included on the product sheet. On the other hand, these obligations only apply to new units of a product model placed on the market from 1 January 2023. Products for which the last unit is placed on the market between 1 January and 31 March 2023.