The figures speak for themselves: out of 648,000 tons of textiles and shoes put on the market in France each year, only 38 percent will be destined for recycling. A reality that Maud Hardy, general manager of Refashion, puts forward in her introduction to the white paper published by the organization on April 4. Through ten concrete proposals detailed in the document, Refashion intends to increase this rate to 100 percent and lay the foundations for an exemplary circular economy, “which has now become a vital emergency”.
Manufacturing, consumption, regeneration
To achieve this, the organization calls on French and European leaders and proposes concrete measures based on the three stages of the life cycle of a product: rethinking its manufacture, redesigning its consumption through more transparency, and reclaiming waste through a recycling industry “efficient and value creating”. Refashion also insists on the importance of a harmonization of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system on a European scale – France being the first country in the world to have adopted it for the textile and footwear sector in 2008.
Among the measures proposed by Refashion, the penalization of the brands putting on the market products with strong environmental impact, a better information of the consumer by integrating the cost of the eco-contribution on the price of the products, or tax relief on the production of regenerated material resulting from textile waste. At the European level, Refashion calls for a halt to the export of used textiles outside the EU and for the lack of industrial recycling solutions in Europe to be remedied. The organization also calls for better European legislation, which would include supporting brands in the eco-design of their products, investing in the recycling industry on a European scale and greater transparency.