France takes a stance on transparency and traceability in fashion
France is making positive headlines again—this time, it has the fashion and apparel industry in its crosshairs.
The country’s Anti-Waste and Circular Economy Law was enacted in February 2020 to eliminate waste from the value chain. Now, in January 2023, additional pieces of legislation have come into effect.
Of note, apparel and footwear labels now must include details around:
- Percentage of recycled material by weight
- Future recyclability of a product
- Presence of harmful chemicals
- Warnings of microplastic-shedding in synthetic fibers
Additionally, the law looks to crack down on greenwashing. It will police the term “compostable,” which can no longer be used if an item is only compostable by industrial methods. And now there’s a full-on ban on the misleading terms “biodegradable” and the almost cringeworthy “environmentally friendly.”
In short, the new law will positively impact how companies familiarize themselves with their products’ footprint, construction, and lifecycle.
French yogurt maker could be forced to say au revoir to plastic
CPG giant and one of the world’s worst plastic polluters, Danone (Dannon as it’s known in the U.S.), is being sued by environmental groups in France for insufficiently reducing its plastic footprint.
Under the landmark French law passed in 2017 called the duty of vigilance, companies are compelled to identify and prevent environmental damage and human rights violations, something Danone has shirked by failing to address its environmental impact seriously. Essentially, this is similar to other smaller-scale lawsuits in the U.S. against other big plastic polluters like Coca-cola that argue advertising contradicts company practices.
The French lawsuit against Danone calls on them to release a plan to completely phase out plastics within six months or be fined around $100k daily after that if they fail to present a plan. We can all agree—that kind of figure has the power to force action at scale.