Wednesday, 22 May 2024
BusinessFrance wants to put an end to cheap Shein clothing: "When you...

France wants to put an end to cheap Shein clothing: “When you buy, you contribute to massive pollution”

T-shirts for two euros, dresses for three, towels that do not reach five euros per unit and where shipping costs do not deter you when placing an order. The sales prices of clothing and household and decoration items sold in online stores such as Shein or Temu are in the crosshairs of legislators in both the United States and Europe. Low-cost, fast-consuming garments that may have their days numbered, at least in some countries.

In France, the National Assembly is processing and will debate in the coming days a bill to try to put a stop to purchases in this type of online stores by imposing some type of fee or additional cost so that companies do not sell so cheaply. .

“When you buy in these places, you have to know that you contribute to massive pollution of the environment,” Anne-Cécile Violland, a member of the Horizons party, which is part of the government coalition, justified to the media, which has presented the project. in the Assembly. “The overproduction of clothing that comes to us from Asia, which contravenes environmental regulations, is dramatic. We need to address the problem with concrete measures,” Violland justified in statements reported by Le Figaro, where he points out that he is not going after chains of Chinese origin. , but to modify an accelerated model of online production and sales.

The Minister for the Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, has given oxygen to the bill, under the premise that whoever pollutes, pays. “These companies make profits but let the damage caused by their production model be borne by public resources,” Béchu, who is part of the same political party, said on Monday. At the same time, he advocated for some type of bonus for companies that do develop a responsible production model.

In this case, the Government is talking about moving from fast-moving fashion to another model that is more sustainable. But the project also has another component: defending the local industry. “The problem is limited to a few platforms, which have no presence in France, and whose number of references is alarming,” highlighted Minister Béchu. “It is a question of economic sovereignty and the reconstruction of a French textile industry,” he argued.

The political party that defends the proposal, which is still in its first parliamentary steps, assures that it is not about focusing on specific companies. However, the bill does provide examples linked to companies that it names. For example, it indicates that Shein sells 7,200 new items on its website every day and that the total commercial offer that it makes available to its clients reaches 470,000 references. Shein has already responded to this bill and has sent a statement to the AFP agency in which it assures that its business model is “fundamentally different from that of fast fashion” and that it follows “the best international practices in terms of sustainable development.” and social commitments”.

Regarding the fee that the project proposes to impose – in theory on companies, not on clients – the proposal justifies that it would serve to compensate for the environmental impact of the garments. Also, that they would be progressive and that the year that would serve as a deterrent is not immediate, because it sets the 2030 calendar as the moment in which this fee could reach 10 euros per item or reach up to 50% of the sale price. . “It is about proceeding as we do in another field, that of the automobile, (…) to truly change the practices of producers, as well as the purchasing behavior of consumers,” indicates the text, according to information published by French media.

In addition, the project points to advertising, which would also try to be regulated. Something that would affect product advertisements made by influencers, according to Minister Béchu on the social network X.

The pressure on fast fashion does not only occur in France. Shein is exploring going public as a way to generate income and continue growing. At first she considered jumping onto the Wall Street trading floor, according to information published by the Reuters agency. It would be valued at around 84,000 million euros. However, the scrutiny that it may bring to both her accounts and her model and production strategy may lead her to change New York for London, where she would have less pressure from the Administration.

In the United States, criticism from political powers towards these companies focuses on two different aspects. On the one hand, due to the production model of its garments and the accusations that point to cases of forced labor in the Xinjiang region. On the other, the fiscal cost.

The US House of Representatives analyzed the production model of online, fast-moving retail chains and how they manage to operate on a global scale without having large distribution and logistics centers, through constant shipments from China. “Temu and Shein are building empires around a legal loophole,” criticized Wisconsin Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher. “They are evading taxes,” he said. Specifically, they would have managed to avoid a tariff law, dating back to the 1930s, which exempts from paying tariffs if shipments do not exceed 800 euros.

Popular content

Latest article

More article