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How France's clothes and shoes repair bonus works

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AFP/The Local France - [email protected]
How France's clothes and shoes repair bonus works
Photo by JACQUES DEMARTHON / AFP

The French government has launched a scheme meant to encourage people to have their clothes and shoes repaired rather than throwing them away. Here's how you can benefit from it.

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The scheme is meant to incentivise getting items like clothing and shoes repaired, and it became available to people across France in early November.

The French government hopes to cut down on the 700,000 tonnes of clothes thrown away by French people each year, two-thirds of which ends up in landfill.

As such, a €154 million fund set up by the French government, to cover the period from 2023-2028, will allow customers to see discounts directly on their bills.

The programme is similar to one already in place that offers bonuses for having electrical items repaired.

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What are the eligible items?

Shoes - You can get €8 off on the fitting of a sole (semelle/patin), or €8 off for any sewing or gluing of your shoes. You are also eligible for €7 off for getting a new heel (bonbout) on your shoe. 

Clothes - To patch or repair a hole, tear or rip in your clothes you can benefit from a €7 discount. For changing a single lining on a suit you can get €10 off, and €25 off for a "complex lining" (doublure compexe).

You are only eligible for a discount if the total cost of the repair is at least €12. Additionally, only repairs are covered by the scheme, so you would not get a discount on alterations to make a garment better fit you.

If your clothing item or shoes require several repairs, multiple discounts can be applied as long as they correspond to the work being done and as long as the discounts do not represent more than 60 percent of the total price of the repair.

This means that if your total repairs to a garment cost €50, then you cannot take off more than €30 (60 percent).

There are some items that are not eligible for repairs - these include undergarments (underwear, socks, bras), clothing made from leather and natural fur, technical sportswear (meaning things you would not use daily, like a diving suit or ski boots).

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How can I find an eligible repair shop?

The French government has published an interactive map of approved repairers. You can access it here. Start by putting in your address to see the options near you.

What is the goal of this scheme?

The aim is to increase the number of items repaired in France from 16 million in 2019 (according to data from the French Environment and Energy Management Agency) to 21.6 million by 2028.

The programme is also part of a vast reform of the textile sector, one of the most polluting industries on the planet, initiated by the French government since the end of 2022.

In France, 3.3 billion pieces of clothing, shoes and household linen were put on the market in 2022, according to Refashion, which has been instructed by the government to support a more sustainable industry.

"The goal is to support those who do the repairs," Couillard said, referring to sewing workshops but also those brands which offer repair services.

Other objectives include forcing brands to have more traceability and to financially support organisations specialising in reusing and recycling clothing.

It comes amid a far-reaching 'anti-waste law' (AGEC) which in a series of stages has aimed to cut back on waste products, from bans on single-use plastics to outlawing plastic wrappers on fruit and vegetables. 

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Comments (1)

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Mary Jane Wilkie 2023/07/12 18:13
Please continue this news by adding an article describing how we consumers might claim such a bonus.

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