What fashion brands need to know about the French Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy

sustainable circular recycle woman


The French Anti-Waste Law for a Circular Economy (AGEC) aims to reduce waste and promote a circular economy by encouraging sustainable production and consumption practices. Known for its significant impact on the environment, the fashion industry is a prime target for the AGEC regulation. As multiple laws and requirements are anticipated to be introduced to the fashion industry over the coming years, this executive brief will examine the importance of a systematic approach to data capturing in the fashion industry to ensure compliance with the AGEC regulation in France, recognizing that it is merely the initial step in a broader regulatory landscape.

The AGEC law is organized around five key issues:

  • Eliminating single-use plastic packaging by 2040
  • Providing better and more transparent information
  • Limiting waste production and promoting reuse, recycling, and repair, including through donations to charitable organizations
  • Taking action against planned obsolescence
  • Improving production by promoting a better resource management system from the design stage

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the most waste-producing and polluting industries in the world with an estimated minimum of 92 million tons of textile waste generated each year globally. The AGEC regulation is expected to change this by promoting sustainable production and consumption practices, such as reducing the use of single-use plastics, implementing deposit and return schemes for packaging materials, and promoting the reuse of products.

The importance of a systematic approach to data capturing

A systematic approach to data capturing is essential for the fashion industry to comply with the AGEC regulation. It involves collecting and analyzing data on the environmental impact of fashion production and consumption, such as energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and waste generation. This data is then used to identify areas for improvement and to develop strategies to reduce environmental impact.

A systematic approach to data capturing helps fashion companies to:

  1. Identify areas for improvement: By collecting and analyzing data, fashion companies can identify areas where they have the highest environmental impact, such as raw material sourcing, production processes, and transportation. This enables them to develop targeted strategies to reduce their impact in these areas.
  2. Monitor progress: By regularly collecting data, fashion companies can monitor their progress in reducing environmental impact and adjust their strategies accordingly.
  3. Ensure compliance with AGEC regulation: By collecting and reporting data, fashion companies can demonstrate their compliance with the AGEC regulation and avoid potential fines or reputational damage.

Obligations and timeline

Fashion brands that sell their products in France must be able to provide accurate information on the environmental qualities and characteristics at stock keeping unit (SKU) level of the products consumers purchase and use daily, including:

  1. The incorporation of recycled material
  2. The recyclability of the product
  3. The presence of any dangerous substance
  4. The presence of plastic microfibers
  5. Traceability of the product across tiers 1 and 2 (final assembly, printing, dyeing, fabric creation weaving/ knitting etc.)
  6. Compostability and recyclability of all packaging

This information should be made available to consumers free of charge, in a paperless format, at the time of buying the product. In the event of non-compliance to the rules, a company will be liable to a fine of approx. EUR 15K per violation.


Timeline for fashion brands affected by the AGEC regulation 

Source: Refashion

Timeline for fashion brands affected by the AGEC regulation will be implemented in three stages:

  • January 1st, 2023—fashion brands with an annual turnover of more than €50 million and at least 25,000 units of products placed on the French market each year.
  • January 1st, 2024—fashion brands with an annual turnover of more than €20 million and at least 10,000 units.
  • January 1st, 2025—fashion brands with an annual turnover of more than €10 million and at least 10,000 units.

Streamlining dataflow

The AGEC law in France is only the starting point for multiple laws and requirements expected to be introduced in the following years in the fashion industry, including PEFCR, Carbon labelling law, and Digital product passports. In this context, one of the biggest challenges for fashion brands will be to collect, process, validate and store the necessary information in a systematic way.

How Infor can help

To help fashion brands capture the required data, Infor has partnered with Made2flow, a tech company that specializes in gathering and analysis of data across the fashion supply chain. This strategic alliance empowers Infor to automate the flow of necessary data, ensuring a seamless customer experience and providing solutions to comply with existing and evolving requirements. By calculating and displaying the product impact measurements already in the design phase, fashion companies can make more informative decisions when creating new collections. Additionally, it will also provide better visibility and transparency of the production value chain by collecting data that can be shared with consumers or used for regulatory reporting purposes. If you want to learn more about the tools and solutions that can help you comply with the AGEC regulation and future legislation, read our asset “Five ways technology enables true fashion sustainability.”