In July, the French government announced that it will begin offering rebates for people who get their clothing and shoes repaired rather than replaced, the Guardian reports.
Starting in October, French customers at participating clothing workshops and cobblers will be able to earn back six to 25 euros, the Guardian explains — roughly $6.65 to $27.70.
The payment will come from a €154 million ($170 million) fund set aside to cover the program, the Guardian says. The amount is expected to last for the next five years.
Bérangère Couillard, France’s secretary of state for ecology, announced the change during a visit to an eco-friendly fashion hub in Paris, the Guardian reports. Couillard made it clear that any French business providing clothing repair services could opt in to the scheme.
“The goal is to support those who carry out repairs,” Couillard said during her visit, and added that the government hoped more businesses would offer those services thanks to the subsidy, creating jobs.
According to the Guardian, more than 770,000 tons of clothing are thrown away in France each year, and 23 pounds of textiles are sold per person per year. Two-thirds of the clothing that is trashed ends up taking up space in landfills.
France’s program is run by the eco-friendly organization Refashion, the Guardian reports. The hope is that by encouraging people to repair garments, French residents will save money and help protect the environment by reducing the amount of new clothing they buy each year.
Refashion also intends to encourage people to donate their old clothing instead of throwing it out, the Guardian reports. According to the organization, about 56% of the discarded clothing can be reused, and 32% is recyclable.
This rebate is part of a larger movement by the French government to make its economy, and the textile industry in particular, less wasteful, the Guardian says. France passed a law in 2020 that included a six-year reform plan with new requirements introduced each year. The focus shifted to fashion at the end of 2022 and will continue to evolve through the next few years.
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