Translated by
Nicola Mira
Apr 17, 2023
Reading time
4 minutes
Download the article
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Study shows circular fashion in France could be worth €14 billion with 8,000 new industry jobs by 2030

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Apr 17, 2023

A study by ThredUp-GlobalData has forecast that the US second-hand fashion market will be growing at an annual rate of over 20% for the next five years. According to this forecast, in 2027 the market will be worth as much as $70 billion (€64 billion). As for Europe, the sector has been the object of various studies and estimates, all agreeing on its fast growth in the region. On April 17, at the French Fashion Institute in Paris, consulting firm Accenture and the French Circular Fashion Federation (CFC), an association founded in 2022, presented a study on the French market.

Repair, reuse and recycle: a bright future for 3R projects - Shutterstock

“The study has enabled us to carry out a qualitative and quantitative analysis to assess the market’s size in France, and to have an idea of its evolution up to 2030, Europe-wide too. Within the Federation, we benefit from feedback by major retailers such as Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, as well as e-tailers like Vinted and Vestiaire Collective,” said Maxime Delavallée, president of CFC and co-founder of circular fashion solution provider CrushON. “USA-based studies are already available, and we were keen to gain an understanding of how the reuse and repair market is structured in France, and of the issues around recycling,” he added.

The CFC’s founders are convinced that repair, reuse and recycle are three key elements that will make it possible to fight against “the unbridled increase in the volume of articles put on the market each year.” CFC’s objective is to build a model that will allow the industry to find an alternative to “the increasingly faster pace at which new collections [are launched], and the rise of ultra-fast fashion.” Statistics will enable 3R (repair, reuse and recycle) initiatives to become more targeted and above all quantifiable.

The study's first finding was that the 3R market is currently estimated to be worth approximately €5.7 billion in France.

CFC noted that, in the last few years, political goodwill has gathered around these issues, and is necessary to make further progress. CFC also pointed out that “circular [business] models have been fostered by the growth of e-tail, a channel that is widely used by French consumers, and by a proliferation in brick-and-mortar second-hand fashion stores.” And while there is a growing appetite for repair initiatives, as shown in France by Veja, Des marques & vous, Jules and recently Balibaris, the resale market is clearly buoyant. Setting up recycling facilities for managing the end-of-life stage in fashion products is instead a challenge.


Reducing the volume of new products put on the market each year is a major challenge for CFC - Shutterstock

According to the Accenture study, all 3R segments are set to expand. “The rise in the number of circular initiatives observed across the fashion and luxury sectors is expected to continue, given the evolution of French consumption habits in the current inflationary context, and the growing interest in sustainability shown by all stakeholders within the ecosystem,” stated the study.

The study estimated that the market could be worth €14 billion in 2030, with the resale market expanding at an annual growth rate of about 13% and accounting for an approximately 29% share of the fashion and luxury market in France in 2030. As the collection and recycling infrastructure grows, Accenture, whose study also relies on figures provided by Re_Fashion, estimated that the share of textile products that are recycled is likely to triple.

“The collection and sorting infrastructure for recycling is still underdeveloped,” said Delavallée, “but this is the real challenge involved in building a circular industry. Mechanical recycling facilities do exist, but they need to be able to process mixed materials. Chemical recycling is becoming more common, but we must approach it with caution, while deploying the investment necessary to deal with these issues at scale.”

Besides these findings, CFC is focusing on setting responsibility goals, insisting that in order for sustainable projects to win support, they must be embraced by consumers, but they must also offer profitable prospects to companies. For example, re-using lower-quality products is proving difficult, while the price of a repaired product often makes it unattractive for consumers: “70% of the items on the market are classified as entry-level, and their price as new is often less than any repair costs,” noted the study.

Aspects on which the French and of course EU authorities could and should intervene, in order to promote more virtuous practices and allow sustainable and more environmentally friendly sectors to emerge.

“This is our ultimate goal,” said Delavallée. The Accenture/CFC study indicated that “circular practices would reduce the industry’s CO2 emissions by 16% and also cut waste emissions and water consumption, while supporting the creation of more local jobs.” New re-industrialisation projects within the recycling sector could generate 8,000 jobs in France. An exciting prospect.


Copyright © 2023 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.