Relocation and sustainable fashion: the CSF "Fashion & Luxury" recommends doubling the share of Made in France #117


Last July, after the mobilisation of the French industry to alleviate the shortage of masks, the State entrusted the “Fashion & Luxury” Strategic Committee (CSF) with a study on the prospects for relocating and supporting sustainable fashion. The aim of this report, submitted on 19 January by Guillaume de Seynes, the chairman of the CSF “Fashion & Luxury” to the ministers for ecological transition and industry, is to explore the possibilities of relocation in France and to evaluate the benefits and attractiveness of France in the face of the development of sustainable fashion, which is in full expansion. To put it plainly, since France is the worst performer in Europe in terms of labour costs, identify new business models that reconcile economic performance, respect for the environment and the attractiveness of the regions. The aim is to double the share of made in France in the consumption of textiles, household linen and footwear “in the long term”. And to reach a quarter of purchases made in France.

However, the obstacles to relocation have been identified: first of all, the price of Made in France, which remains the main factor in the decision. The professionals in the sector therefore recommend that education be provided while working on costs. Explain the price difference to consumers and principals alike, but reduce this difference with other manufacturing countries by basing it on the real costs of relocated production. And focus relocation in France on more limited orders, develop production on demand.

The known obstacles to relocation can be circumvented by transforming the value chain

If the turn towards “sustainable fashion” may seem like an opportunity for designers and manufacturers, it is only under certain conditions, points out the CSF report. This means promoting a demanding model of social responsibility (reduction of carbon impact, product sustainability, innovative production approaches, particularly using natural materials such as linen and – or recycled materials).

It is also a question, a recurrent demand from manufacturers, of strengthening the partnership between principals and manufacturers in order to respond as well as possible to the need for flexibility on the part of the former and the need for visibility on orders on the part of the latter.

Finally, the need for support from the public authorities is necessary to encourage the conditions for partial relocation. Via, for example, the future investment programmes (PIA) and the France Relance plan. In addition, the report recommends working on exemplary public procurement, with stricter CSR clauses, support for innovative projects for the industrialisation of textile waste sorting and recycling channels, and training.

Fashion United