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Making circular economy initiatives practical - through digitalization and legislation

Across Europe, policymakers are taking initiatives to make the economy more circular and to encourage more sustainable behavior from both consumers and industry.

Probably the most impactful, and the one that has received the most international attention, is the Digital Product Passport initiative, recently processed by the European Parliament as a part of the long and winding legislation process of the EU.

Obviously some politicians are more on their toes than others, eager to take action. In France for example.

Declaring the environmental impact of clothing   Another key part of the plan to promote more sustainable fashion will be implemented on 1 January 2024. From then on, manufacturers will be required to label garments with details of the environmental impact of the items.   - Water used in production   - Use of chemicals   - Risk of microplastic emissions   - Use of recycled textiles in the production of items       Does this sound familiar? Without going into detail, it sounds to us like an analogue precursor to digital product passports. Maybe not exactly the same, but pretty similar. Certainly with very similar intentions.      From regulations to business development   Being able to digitally present data on the environmental impact of your product as soon as possible is not just about circular economy regulations.  In business terms, there is a paradigm shift and it is now about demonstrating that you have a plan for the full product life cycle and even create – sustainable – new business models for competitiveness and long-term survival.
From 1 October 2023, French consumers will receive a bonus for mending shoes and clothes, in an effort to boost circularity in the fashion industry

Image Credits: iStock


Initiatives for more circular fashion in France

In France, 3.3 billion items of clothing, shoes and home linen were put on the market in 2022, according to Refashion, an eco-organization promoting a responsible fashion industry.

Meanwhile, 700,000 tonnes of clothes are thrown away every year, with two-thirds ending up in landfill.

Our fast-fashion habits puts a huge strain on our environment. In the use of land and resources, in production, in transport and finally in waste management and disposal.

Rather than wait for the European Union to legislate and implement Digital Product Passports, the French government is launching two major initiatives in the next six months.

A bonus for repairing clothes and shoes

The first, in October, is a bonus scheme to incentivise people to get their clothes and shoes repaired rather than throwing them away, only to buy new ones. It's a straightforward system of €7 for mending a heel and €10-25 for mending a piece of clothing. The five-year budget for the scheme is €154 million.

This is in line with the proposal to promote the repair of goods adopted by the European Commission in March 2023.

Declaring the environmental impact of clothing

Another key part of the plan to promote more sustainable fashion will be implemented on 1 January 2024. From then on, manufacturers will be required to label garments with details of the environmental impact of the items.

- Water used in production

- Use of chemicals

- Risk of microplastic emissions

- Use of recycled textiles in the production of items

Does this sound familiar? Without going into detail, it sounds to us like an analogue precursor to digital product passports. Maybe not exactly the same, but pretty similar. Certainly with very similar intentions.

From regulations to business development

Being able to digitally present data on the environmental impact of your product as soon as possible is not just about circular economy regulations. In business terms, there is a paradigm shift and it is now about demonstrating that you have a plan for the full product life cycle and even create – sustainable – new business models for competitiveness and long-term survival.

How about joining the ranks of successful businesses who have made taking responsibility for the environment an integral part of their mission and branding...and business model? Making their core identity green.

How prepared are you?

Think of rhe new French labelling standard as an indication of the kind of data you will be required to provide in the future for items you produce or sell - but digitally.

Are you ready? Do you have such data for your products? All of them? In usable formats? Do you know how or where to get it? How to verify it? And to keep it up-to-dat

We're here to help you to get to a good start

At Blue Cromos, we have been involved in digital identification and authentication for a long time and have worked on several proofs of concept for digital product passport solutions.

Perhaps our strongest takeaway from this work is that manufacturers and suppliers have no time to lose when it comes to capturing product data. It's a bigger job than most people think.

We're here to help you get off to a good start.

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