France is preparing to declare war on Chen

France is preparing to declare war on Chen

ParisThe phenomenon of high-speed fashion (Fast fashion), led by platforms such as Shein and Temu, is worrying France. In mid-March, the National Assembly is scheduled to discuss a proposed law that, if successful, could lead to an end to the business model followed by this type of Chinese multinational companies – at least in France – that base their success on production and sale at very low prices. Add hundreds of them. From daily updates to its catalog. The proposal consists of charging an additional fee of 5 euros for each item of clothing purchased on this type of online platform. The fee will only apply to websites that put more than 1,000 new models on the market every day, which is called ultra-fast fashion. For example, multinational companies, such as Zara or H&M, would be excluded because they do not bring many new products to market that quickly.

This measure, according to its promoter, conservative MP Antoine Vermorel Marques, would serve to defend the French textile industry and the environment against the threat posed by online stores like Shein. “It's disposable clothing, super-fast fashion,” Vermorel-Marques explains. “It's about: I buy a shirt, wear it once and then throw it in the trash.”

The MP responsible for the green policies of the Conservative Party also criticizes the marketing techniques followed by high-speed fashion companies, which use social networks and… Influencers To reach young people, Home Goal. Vermorel-Marques posted a parody video with him on TikTok hashtag #stopshein in which she displays Shein clothing and claims that it carries chemicals banned in the European Union. “They're very nice shoes, very stylish. They've been treated with phthalates, which is an endocrine disruptor that can give us infertility,” he says, showing off a pair of men's shoes and mimicking the tone of the men's shoes. Influencers.

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The protectionist argument

The MP also points to the environmental footprint of Chinese fast fashion stores, which mostly send orders by plane, “twenty times more polluting than by ship.” But Republicans not only complain about Sheen's environmental problems, they also use other protectionist arguments. The proposed law aims to launch a “textile passport” to support French companies in the face of foreign competition, “which often does not respect labor rights, the environment and the health of customers.”

In recent months, dozens of companies in the textile sector such as Naf Naf, Camaïeu, Pimkie, Du Pareil au Même, Burton of London or Kookaï have been forced to close their doors – or are in the process of liquidation – in France. In fact, the proposed law stipulates support for “responsible” companies, which is a way of subtly saying that the tax on Chin clothing would serve to provide assistance to French companies. According to the French Ready-to-Wear Federation, the closure of major clothing brands led to the loss of 10,000 jobs in the sector last year. In contrast, Chinese online platforms, which operate without physical stores, do not create job opportunities in France.

Republicans hope to count on the favorable vote of left-wing parties, especially environmentalists, but it is not clear that it will have the support of the parties in President Emmanuel Macron's coalition, and therefore it is not known whether it will be approved or not. However, the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Pichou, has on more than one occasion criticized ultra-fast fashion, which has pushed clothing consumption to a level higher than the real needs of consumers. “In 15 years, the amount of clothing we buy has increased by 60%. Instead, we still wear a pair of socks or a pair of shoes every day,” the minister said recently.

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Apart from this law proposed by the conservatives, the French National Assembly will also vote next March on a proposal put forward by one of the parties supporting Macron, the Horizons party, to financially punish these multinational companies that sell clothes at very low prices with a kind of “environmental tax”. A measure that seeks to “reduce the environmental impact” of the textile industry. Horizons also wants to ban advertising from platforms like Shein.

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