This French petition wants to prevent fast fashion from polluting Africa

This new petition, which bounces off Hugo Clément’s documentary “Where our clothes end up”, calls on the French government to change things.

In his latest documentary On the front: Where do our clothes end up?, broadcast on December 19, 2021 at 8:55 pm on France 5, Hugo Clément warned the French about the fate of clothes sent for recycling. And some responded.

Clothes thrown away in France are polluting Africa’s beaches

On the 205,000 tons of used clothing and fabrics collected in France in 2020, there are few who warm the most needy on the spot. In fact, more than half of the coins collected in the terminals are sent abroadmainly in Africa.

For example, in Ghana, where 30 million people live, 15 million items of clothing arrive every week. Inevitably, such an influx far exceeds the needs of the local population. So that’s about 40% ends up in open landfillsthat inevitably overflow into the sewer and then end up on the beaches and in the ocean, Hugo Clément’s documentary analyzes.

In brief, Africa is becoming the trash of western disposable fashion

And while consumers have become increasingly aware of the financial and social costs of producing clothing since the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, we still don’t care much about the end-of-life of all these clothing…

The petition calling on the Ministry of Ecology to act against fast fashion

However, the more the clothes are bought at low prices, the more they can be thrown away unscrupulously by mere mortals. And low-priced clothes are rarely of quality, they deteriorate quickly and therefore have little chance of durability, let alone attractive to the second-hand market.

Listen to the Raw Materials podcast about the problems and abuses of second hand

Because we wear our clothes less long and throw them away faster, France gets rid of all its textile waste by exporting it mainly to Africa. It is therefore a problem of globalized pollution, which is based on and amplifies a dynamic of north/south countries – not to say colonial. It also reduces the opportunities to develop a strong, self-sufficient local textile industry across the 54 continent of countries, imbued with sloppy clothing.

So many observations that lead to the creation of a petition directly questioning the Minister of Ecological Transition of France: Barbara Pompili, prevent Africa from becoming a garbage can for our clotheslaunched by En Mode Climate.

This French petition proposed by En Mode Climat wants to prevent fast-fashion from polluting Africa

En Mode Climat is a coalition of textile players (brands, but also factories, organizations, media, etc.) working together to change the laws – ie the will of participate in virtuous lobbying of the government.

What does the En Mode Climat petition for laws against fast-fashion propose?

The collective En Mode Climat analyzes as follows:

“Despite major announcements from fashion brands, the volumes produced by the textile industry – and thus pollution – continue to increase year after year. If nothing is done, fast fashion will continue to grow, causing more and more waste, pollution and misery. †

This petition therefore proposes three ways to prevent the pollution of Africa by western disposable fashion:

  • Adopt a bonus-malus, as there are in the car, up to 5 € for the worst clothes. This ecotax should penalize the most polluting practices and the brands that encourage overconsumption (frantic renewal of collections, artificial promotions, ridiculous prices).
  • Limit the number of imported fast-fashion clothes in France, as was the case until 2005.
  • Stop sending our waste to Africa prefer to develop the infrastructure and points of sale so that they can be processed locally.

If you want, you can sign the petition to stop western disposable fashion from continuing to pollute Africa

In addition to this kind of petition, which makes it possible to structurally change things from above, there remain the gestures of common sense on a personal scale: keep your clothes on as long as possible, remember to repair them if necessary, or reuse them in another way when they are no longer portable. It keeps you from feeling helpless, even if it’s not nearly enough.


Also read:

New year, new wardrobe: this is how you get rid of your old clothes!

Photo credit on the front page: Winter Productions.

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