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Lawmakers unanimously approve bill to impose penalties against fast-growing sector in fashion industry: 'A big step has been taken'

"This evolution of the apparel sector … is not without environmental, social and economic consequences."

"This evolution of the apparel sector ... is not without environmental, social and economic consequences."

Photo Credit: iStock

France may be home to one of the world's fashion capitals, but lawmakers are drawing a line when it comes to the heavily polluting ways of one of the industry's fast-growing sectors

On March 15, a Reuters report on CNN.com noted that the country's lower house of parliament unanimously greenlit a bill that would impose penalties on items from fast-fashion brands like Shein.

According to the news outlet, the bill is now on its way to the senate, which needs to approve the proposal before it becomes law. 

"A big step has been taken to reduce the textile sector's environmental footprint," Minister of Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu wrote in French on X, formerly known as Twitter, adding that the development was a "major step forward," as detailed on CNN.com. 

If the bill goes into effect, it will implement an advertising ban on fast-fashion products and feature "gradually increasing penalties of up to 10 euros (about $11) per individual item of clothing by 2030," as explained by Reuters, per CNN.

Fast-fashion brands, like Shein and Brandy Melville, have recently been in the spotlight for concerning reasons, including their negative environmental impact and allegations of human rights violations.

"This evolution of the apparel sector towards ephemeral fashion, combining increased volumes and low prices, is influencing consumer buying habits by creating buying impulses and a constant need for renewal, which is not without environmental, social, and economic consequences," the bill reportedly read, per CNN. 

As detailed by Earth.org, garment workers regularly put in 14- to 16-hour days, seven days a week, being exposed to harmful chemicals. There have also been reports of verbal or physical abuse from management.

Meanwhile, the items — typically made from fabrics containing plastic — are worn an average of seven to 10 times before getting sent to the dumps, where they leach toxins into the environment and begin generating the potent heat-trapping gas methane

According to CNN.com, this may not be the only bill France brings forward to hold itself accountable for waste from fast fashion

France's environmental ministry said that it plans to propose a ban on exports of used clothes. This comes after the country introduced a program last year encouraging people to repair old clothes and shoes.

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