In this age of consumerism, we unnecessarily discard millions of tons of clothes every year. A lot of these items are as good as new. Some may be a little threadbare or miss a button or two. France has come up with a new scheme to encourage people to increase the longevity of their apparel. The government will pay a "repair bonus" to people who get their garments repaired at special repair workshops, or take their shoes to a cobbler. The bonus allows individuals to claim back up to $27 of the cost of their repair bill. The scheme will be run by an eco-organization called Refashion. The government said the goals of its new initiative are "to support those who carry out repairs" and help the environment.
An estimated 700,000 tons of clothing are thrown away in France every year. Around two-thirds of this ends up in landfills. Furthermore, the global fashion industry accounts for between 8-10 per cent of global carbon emissions every year. The emergence of fast fashion has exacerbated this. Fast fashion is the practice of purchasing cheap clothes to wear just a few times. It utilizes a lot of synthetic materials and chemicals, which harm the environment. The Refashion group also aims to encourage people to reduce the amount of clothing they buy, and to donate unwanted clothes and footwear to charity. It says over half of donations can be reused, and a third can be recycled into something new.