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France Is Going to Ban Stores From Throwing Away Unsold Clothing

France Clothing Waste Law Sustainability

Clothes on a rack (Photo: Rawpixel via Shutterstock)

France has been ahead of the eco-friendly curve for years. From a solar-powered road to upcycled installations, the country has continuously found creative ways to make environmentalism its mission. Following in the footsteps of a 2015 food waste law, the French government has turned its attention to textiles, making it illegal for retailers to throw away unsold clothing.

In the past, French clothing stores would typically discard any leftover apparel. Before being thrown away, these perfectly good pieces of clothing were often defaced in an attempt to deter dumpster scavenging, culminating in four million tons of unwearable, wasted clothes. Thanks to this new law, however, stores will now be required to donate any unsold articles of clothing to charity—a move that will eliminate unnecessary refuse while also helping those in need.

For months, this initiative has been a priority for Emmaus—a Paris-based organization focused on ending homelessness. In February, a Facebook photo depicting destroyed clothing went viral, causing public outcry and bringing the issue to Emmaus' attention. Since then, the charity has worked tirelessly to fix the problem, which French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has vowed to tackle with this new law in 2019. “For the time being, there are no specific indications,” Emmaus' Deputy Director Valérie Fayard explains. “It’s a preliminary road map, but it’s good news.”

In an effort to prevent clothing waste, France will ban retailers from throwing away unsold apparel next year.

France Clothing Waste Law Sustainability

Second-hand clothes in plastic bags (Photo: Koryenyeva Tetyana via Shutterstock)

h/t: [Green Matters]

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