France bans by law the destruction of unsold luxury goods

A new law making the waste of unused clothes and shoes illegal puts France at the forefront of sustainability in fashion. France announced a ban on the destruction of unsold products that will prevent the annual waste of clothing and shoes worth 650 million euros in France only.

This decision happens only a couple of years after the news about Burberry destroying 28 million euros of unsold goods to protect the British label’s image of exclusivity, which shocked fashion lovers. Several documentaries have shown that this is common practice in the fashion industry, sparking a broader conversation about how fast-fashion and the luxury industry contribute to environmental problems such as climate change and global warming by burning or throwing on landfills over a million tonnes of good clothes every year.

It is a highly relevant law that will force fashion labels to produce less and recycle unused goods, whether unsold or returned items, and reuse its materials. The ban, which will come into force within four years, will affect not only luxury brands but also huge online and discount retailers such as Amazon because it includes household appliances, hygiene products, cosmetics and any other non-food products. It will make it compulsory for brands to hand in the unused products that will be recycled.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that “ We can find a viable economic model, and make sure that anything unsold is given away or broken down for re-use. We can avoid the destruction of perfectly good products, his scandalous waste. Our idea is not to constrain or impose, but to support companies and to ensure that we move to a new stage in our economy.

It is very significant that this ban should begin in France since its capital is also the world’s fashion capital, so hopefully, the rest of the fashion capitals will soon follow France’s footsteps.

A good option for sustainable fashion is to purchase 2nd-hand items. We hand-picked some beautiful previously-owned handbags from the most luxurious fashion houses:


If you purchase something through the links in this post, Notorious-mag will get a commission.

Photos via Shutterstock