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French Lawmakers Approve Bill to Place Penalties on Fast Fashion

Photo by Christophe Archambault/AFP via Getty Images

French lawmakers approved a bill on Thursday that will place penalties on ultra-fast-fashion products produced by brands such as Shein, in an attempt to offset their environmental impact.

“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 reads. According to Reuters and France24, it proposes gradually increasing penalties on items sold by fast-fashion brands, starting at five euros (about $5.44) per item and rising to 10 euros (about $10.89) or up to 50% of the price tag by 2030. It was unanimously approved by lawmakers in the lower house of French parliament, and will now move to the senate before it’s enacted into law.

The bill was submitted by Horizons, a center-right political party supporting President Emmanuel Macron. Deputy Anne-Cecile Violland told France24 that proceeds from the penalties will help subsidize sustainable clothing manufacturers. 

In a statement to Reuters, Shein said this bill would “worsen the purchasing power of French consumers, at a time when they are already feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.” 

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