AGEC law: what is it?

On January 1, France made it mandatory for the biggest fashion companies to provide buyers with detailed information on environmental characteristics, such as the percentage of recycled material in a product, where the garments are sewn, and the materials are woven.

France’s new requirements fall under the country’s Anti-Waste for a Circular Economy, or AGEC, which aims to push companies towards more circular production and shoppers towards more responsible consumption habits.

The French AGEC law aims to promote circular economy practices, reduce disposable plastics, and enhance consumer information. Building on the AGEC law, the Climate and Resilience Law emphasizes environmental labeling in the textile and food industries while combating greenwashing.

The objective of the legislation is to break the model of a linear economy (extract, manufacture, consume, throw away) and adopt a “circular” economic model based on:  eco-design of products – responsible consumption – extension of shelf life – recycling of products and waste.

Duties and fines

This year, the french Agec law will be released in stages, applying to companies that sell more than 25,000 items per year, and generate revenues of over 50 million euros ($54 million) in the country.

Penalties for non-compliance will result in fines measured as a percentage of global brand revenues and lawsuits.

In order to fulfill these obligations, companies must collect and analyze data specific to their products and value chains. 

•  Collect important data on recycled materials; plastic microfibers, recyclability, traceability

•  Display Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) based on life cycle analyses. ie/ PEF must be measured and displayed, with data based on certain impact categories across the entire product life cycle.

Being caught off guard is becoming riskier for brands, not to mention that several of them are already facing lawsuits over alleged misleading environmental claims.

The law requires brands to provide consumers with much more transparency about supply chains regarding:

• trace the countries where the materials come from;
• environmental impact of the materials used;
• define the essential granular data for the needs of environmental impact fashion.

Read this article with all the information your consumers need to have.

Most revelant article for fashion and textile companies:

Agec Law – Article 13 : The “Consumer Information Article”

Agec Law – Article 15: The “Product Environmental Footprint Article”

AGEC law: let’s take an example

If a brand says a T-shirt is made of recycled material, it will need to disclose the proportion that is recycled. 
If more than 50 percent of a garment is made of synthetic fibers, it needs to carry a warning that it will shed microfibres in the wash.

There are strict guidelines governing whether a company can claim an item is recyclable, and brands are required to publish the country where a product is made, where the core material it contains is processed and manufactured, etc.

“We have a gap in every maison,” said LVMH environmental deputy director, Alexandre Capelli. “A quick scan of many major players’ French websites shows mixed uptake so far and highlights some of the complexity involved. A pair of leggings for sale at Nike are promoted as mostly recycled, but there’s no percentage breakdown of the recycled content. A black polyester “skort” for sale at Zara offers up details of manufacturing locations but misses any information about the risk of microfibre shedding in the wash. A synthetic Louis Vuitton jersey dress doesn’t carry a similar warning because the garment is dry-cleaned only, LVMH said.”

Alexandre Capelli, LVMH environmental deputy director

How to find out if you are compliant with the law?

Want to know how The ID Factory can help you comply with AGEC?

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