After France’s landmark fast fashion legislation, which could see a fee of up to €10 added to each fast fashion purchase, a number of other countries could soon follow suit with increased legislation around transparency and accountability.

Louise Deglise-Favre, an apparel analyst at GlobalData, told Just Style that while the proposed law in France still needs to be passed – and will require clarification on details and the overall feasibility of the bill – it is likely that other nations will follow the country’s example.

Deglise-Favre said: “Regulation to tackle sustainability issues within the fashion industry is becoming increasingly prevalent so it would not be surprising for other countries to implement their own legislation.”

Australia looks to ‘new era’ of accountability

One industry insider believes that Australia could be looking to follow France’s example. “Now more than ever, the sustainability of products is carrying significant weight in customer purchasing decisions,” claimed Marie Kinsella, CEO of the International Expo Group and organiser of Global Sourcing Expo, which is taking place from 12-14 June 2024 in Sydney.

“Concurrently, regulators are introducing comprehensive transparency and supply chain due diligence laws, resulting in a new era of corporate accountability that brands will need to adhere to,” Kinsella added.

“The evolution of conscious fashion is calling,” Kinsella added. “And we’re proud to be able to give a platform to the movement shaping brands with purpose.”

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Calls for decisive action in Ireland

In Ireland, the chair of Charity Retail Ireland, a membership body for charity retailers in the country, has called for Ireland to follow France’s example. Writing on LinkedIn, Mark Sweeney said that decisive action is now needed to address fast fashion.

Consumers in Ireland buy more than 50kg of textiles per person each year, almost double the European average of 26kg. Fast fashion items can be difficult for charity shops to resell due to their already low price points when new.

Sweeney described France’s pending legislation as a “glimmer of hope”. He added: “It’s time to reimagine fashion as a source of joy and expression, rather than a contributor to exploitation and environmental degradation.”

GlobalData’s Deglise-Favre said that even with potential amendments or clarifications added to France’s fast fashion legislation or the overall outcome of the bill, its introduction has certainly sparked a trend.

“Regardless of its outcome, the bill opens up a wider discussion about the responsibility of governments, brands and consumers in tackling the environmental impact of the fashion industry,” Deglise-Favre said.

“The proposal also clearly lays out its intent to become the blueprint for wider European regulations, indicating that if passed, it will likely prompt other countries to implement similar laws. In all cases, fast fashion players should ensure they continue improving their sustainability credentials and transparency as additional regulations in Europe are bound to emerge in the near future.”