“Obligation of transparency makes companies more responsible for the quality of their products”

How and why is it so crucial informing customers about supply chains processes? Which is the state of art of traceability and sustainability?

France was one of the first countries to implement laws to promote a circular economy.

The“Anti-waste for a circular economy” (AGEC) law adopted on February 10th, 2020, introduced measures aimed at building a more sustainable model for society.
The focus is to providing customer information on the quality and environmental characteristics of the products that generate waste.

Informing customers on environmental qualities and product characteristics

The measures adopted for informing customers in a better way represent one of the main aspects of the AGEC law.

These measures aim to change firms’ production methods and consumption patterns.

Manufacturers are therefore required to be more transparent regarding the environmental impact and durability of their products.

The importance of informing consumers

In France, it is now an obligation. The information can be expressed in electronic form or with other support, as long as it can be easily consulted during the purchase phase (labels, cards, etc.).

For textiles and footwear manufacturers, they must provide information:
• recyclability of the product, characterised by the capacity to be efficiently collected and sorted;
• the use of renewable resources;
• durability;
• compostability (for packaging);
• repairability;
• the possibilities of reuse (for packaging);
• recyclability;
• the presence of hazardous materials, precious metals, or rare soils when it has a percentage mass greater than 0.1% in the product‍;
• traceability: indicating the name of the country where each of the following operations is mainly carried out. 
• the release of plastic microfibers in which the environment must be indicated during washing.

Let’s talk about traceability

When it comes to traceability, for informing customers we must indicate the main geographical area of ​​the country where each of the following processes is carried out

For each garment, the main informations to disclose are: the location where the fabric is made, dyed and printed, and where the final cut and sew happens.

For each piece of footwear it’s required to disclose the place where stitching happens, the assemblage, and the finishing stage.

For textiles: weaving, dyeing/printing, cutting, and sewing;
For footwear: stitching (upper), finishing assembly.

When do we talk about recyclability?

There is a lot of confusion on the subject. Let’s try to clarify.

By recyclability we mean:
• the actual ability to recycle waste in identical or similar products;
• the possibility of being sorted to recycling channels to be recycled;
• the absence of elements or substances that disturb the sorting, recycling, or limit the use of the recycled material;
• the ability to be recycled on an industrial scale (economic sustainability).

How it be applied

The law provides for a gradual entry into force for producers, based on the annual turnover and the number of units of products placed on the national market.

The obligation to provide information on the environmental characteristics of the purchased products applies:

Starting from January 1st, 2023: to producers with an annual turnover of more than 50 million euros and at least 25,000 units of products placed on the national market each year;
Starting from January 1st, 2024: to producers with an annual turnover of more than 20 million euros and at least 10,000 units of products placed on the national market each year;
From January 1st, 2025: to producers, with an annual turnover of more than 10 million euros and at least 10,000 units of products placed on the national market each year.

In conclusion

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