Understanding the French Decree 748-2022 related to AGEC Law: A Game-Changer for Textile and Footwear Industries

Aug 21, 2023

It is no news that sustainability and environmental awareness have become paramount in various industries in recent years. The textile and footwear sectors are no exception. It is becoming urgent to move to another paradigm, changing the habits from "produce, buy, consume and then throw away" to "reduce, reuse, repair, recycle." The French government has taken the lead on that matter and promulgated the AGEC (Anti-Gaspillage et Economie Circulaire) law, or the Anti-Waste law, in February 2020, which addresses these concerns and promotes a circular economy. Implemented in January 2023, 5 articles of the AGEC law introduce significant changes that will shape the future of France's and Europe's textile and footwear industries. Reaching the next point in its timeline, we aim to touch on the essential aspects of the AGEC law and its implications for businesses in these sectors, focusing on the upcoming deadline in January 2024.

Traceability, Materials, and Recyclability

Under the AGEC law, article 13 requires your brand to provide information about your garments or footwear's traceability and any relevant material information (microfiber releases, hazardous substances, recycled content), as well as information about the recyclability of the product.  

The requirements have been mentioned in Decree 748-2022, issued in April 2022, and applicable from January 2023.

Traceability should be stated by specifying the country in which the garment or the pair of shoes was made, but not only. Brands are required to declare the country where the following production processes were made:  

  • Weaving, finishing (e.g., dyeing), and confection for textiles.
  • Stitching, lasting, and finishing for footwear.

When it comes to Material information, your brand must communicate on three criteria:

The recyclability claim for garments and footwear aims to be able to declare to consumers if the garment is "fully recyclable" or "mostly recyclable" and if the "Product is recyclable into a product of the same nature." However, this part is still pending today because the French EPR scheme organization, Refashion, in charge of supporting brands in validating their claims, cannot provide a reliable database for brands to define the recyclability of their garment and shoes.

Environmental labeling and waste management

The AGEC law, article 15, mentions your brand's responsibility to display environmental information based on your product's life cycle analysis method. France is currently working on this method involving several stakeholders. It aims to publish the plan by the end of 2023 for an application in 2024.

Waste sorting

Article 17 of the AGEC law mentions the need to communicate the rules for sorting the entire item, meaning that the different elements of your product must be defined in the best way to be sorted as waste. The law also mentions that the same information must also be available online.

Unsold products and deadstock

An interesting part of the law is the inclusion of unsold items, or deadstock, in the equation. It refers to article 35 of the AGEC law. Any garment or footwear unsold should be reused or recycled. For this reason, your brand must find ways to reuse, donate or recycle unsold products. The deadstock penalty reaches 15000 euros for a legal entity.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

The AGEC law places the responsibility on producers to manage the entire lifecycle of their products. Article 62 explains that manufacturers and brands must actively participate in collecting, recycling, and proper disposal programs. Your business must collaborate with recycling organizations to effectively manage textile and footwear waste. From the eco-design promotion of extended lifecycle for products, including reuse and repair services, brands must set up or collaborate with eco-organizations (or recycling scheme system), transferring their obligation and paying a financial contribution. The organization is called Refashion in France.

The textile products concerned are:

  • Clothing
  • Footwear
  • Linen
  • Sports items
  • Textile decoration items
  • Single-use sanitary textiles
  • Packaging in the market of products
  • Printed paper connected to the item – not books

Good for the planet, compostable or biodegradable claims

Any generic green claims are now forbidden. As a brand, you need to focus on information that you can prove and on claims that are specific. It is no longer allowed to write on your garments or digitally "good for the planet", "respect for the environment", "compostable", "biodegradable," or any other similar claim.

Reduction of Single-Use Plastics:

Another significant aspect of the AGEC law is the reduction of single-use plastics. Businesses are encouraged to find alternative materials and packaging solutions. France is planning to get rid of single-use plastics by 2040.

Today the textile and footwear industries are not directly concerned, but Decree 3R, Decree n° 2021-517 aims to:  

  • get rid of unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025
  • ensure 100% of plastic packaging is recycled by 2025.

Deadlines and Upcoming Deadline in January 2024

The AGEC law includes a timeline for the implementation of its key measures. While some provisions have already come into force, important deadlines are approaching, and January 2024 will include the next size of brands.

Noncompliance penalties can reach two years' imprisonment and a fine of 300K euros, according to article 132-2 of the AGEC law.  

The AGEC law also concerns trims for some of the requirements!

Recyclability claim and recycled content claims requirements apply to your trims and digital communication areas.

Trimco Group's ProductDNA® solution and Compliance Services

At Trimco Group, we understand the challenges your business might face in meeting the deadlines set by the AGEC law. We have acquired much experience since 2021, working closely with French and international fashion brands selling into the French market. Our ProductDNA® team and compliance team are available to listen to your needs and help you comply with the law.  

Our innovative solution, ProductDNA®, offers a comprehensive platform made of four different modules: Certificate Manager, Product Manager, Digital Manager and Packaging Manager. With the help of the modules, as a brand, you can collect the relevant information required by the AGEC law and provide the most accurate and compliant product information to consumers.  

ProductDNA®, listed in the CIRPASS DPP-related initiatives dataset, also comes with a dashboard that allows you to monitor your supply chain and centralize documentation. You can report, at any time, the accuracy of the information claimed to the French authorities.

If you have any questions and want to hear more about our solutions to support compliance with the AGEC law, contact our team.

Sources: AGEC Law

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