Eco-responsible & desirable

all editorials

Eco-responsible & desirable

Present clothing that’s long lasting and virtuous while also respecting the people involved throughout the manufacturing process: these are the new demands for the growing number of fashion houses that want to make their convictions a reality. They want to prove that fashion can be compatible with saving the planet. Here’s how and why.

We’ve come a long way from lone designers obsessed by their aesthetic vision and only that. Today’s creatives are like Swiss knives searching for meaning and equipped with a clear, active social vision.

In 2023 it will be impossible to launch or run a brand without taking into account its eco-responsibility, meaning CSR (corporate social responsibility) norms. To sum it up, we’re talking about an individual’s responsibility as a designer, entrepreneur, and citizen. Made aware by a constant stream of news about climate change (according to Météo France, 2022 is the hottest year ever recorded in France); frightening United Nation IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports; and natural disasters and heat waves, a young generation of creatives is affirming its ambition to make fashion and be virtuous. Humble but determined, every day they prove that these two pursuits are compatible, even for one of the planet’s most polluting industries. It’s interesting to note that taking on these challenges is easier for reactive, agile, small structures than for big groups that have trouble changing. According to Vincent Grégoire, Consumer Trends & Insights Director for the NellyRodi consulting agency for business strategy, “It’s easier to steer a little boat than an ocean liner.” 

What are some examples of agility? There’s pioneer Andrea Crews, who since 2002 has worked hard to create sustainable fashion and promote upcycling, which means salvaging unused materials and recycling them into quality clothing or objects. Then there’s Atelier Tuffery, which uses organic fabric and has been producing jeans in France since 1892. Its methods are rooted in respect for the environment and for the people who play a role at every step of production. And it’s impossible to not mention other big names, like Bonne Facture and Patine, both B Corp certified (a guarantee that a business has a positive social and environmental impact). Balzac Paris, a société à mission*, proudly publishes a mantra that perfectly sums up the attitude of these committed fashion houses: “Create a world together where what’s desirable is sustainable and what’s sustainable is desirable.” What all these labels have in common is being very tuned in to ecological, social, and economic issues.

We’ve come a long way from lone designers obsessed by their aesthetic vision and only that. Today’s creatives are like Swiss knives searching for meaning and equipped with a clear, active social vision. They are also absolutely convinced that we can no longer do anything as before: neither designing, nor producing, nor selling, nor communicating. Many of them work with short channels and use sleeping stock (unused fabrics or materials). They manage unsold goods by setting up second-hand offers, and they’re careful about material provenance. They also prioritize quality over quantity and focus on clothing that’s long lasting and can be passed on.

To make progress on this path that’s often difficult and full of pitfalls, these businesses get support from structures that help them gain better understanding. For example, at the Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin they can use the Ressources Green platform, where they’ll find a directory including businesses specializing in materials sourcing, CSR consulting agencies, certification organisations, and more. There’s everything they need to achieve their goal of creating clothing that’s desirable but also respectful of the planet as well as staying connected to a clientele that’s also increasingly aware of this needed revolution.

 

* A feature of the 2019 Pacte Law, Sociétés à Mission is a status accorded to businesses that, at the same time as pursuing profit, wish to work for the common good by putting the resolution of social and environmental issues at the heart of their business model. 

+ Vincent Grégoire, Consumer Trends & Insights Director for the NellyRodi consulting agency for business strategy and creativity, shares his thoughts.

“Brands today must adhere to a restrictive legal framework (a ban on destroying unsold goods, the Anti-waste and Circular Economy Law, etc.) In addition, millennials and Gen Zers are experiencing a real search for meaning and a need to assert their ethics, moral guidelines, values, and vision for the world. For businesses to succeed on this path, they need to know who they are, where they want to go, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what story they want to tell. They have to have convictions and stick to them. They must also take clients and consumers with them and avoid an approach that punishes or excludes. Pleasure is still key: beyond its practical function, clothing should continue to provoke desire.” 

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© Atelier Tuffery

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© Patine

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© Balzac Paris

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© De Bonne Facture

all editorials

Eco-responsible & desirable

Present clothing that’s long lasting and virtuous while also respecting the people involved throughout the manufacturing process: these are the new demands for the growing number of fashion houses that want to make their convictions a reality. They want to prove that fashion can be compatible with saving the planet. Here’s how and why.

We’ve come a long way from lone designers obsessed by their aesthetic vision and only that. Today’s creatives are like Swiss knives searching for meaning and equipped with a clear, active social vision.

In 2023 it will be impossible to launch or run a brand without taking into account its eco-responsibility, meaning CSR (corporate social responsibility) norms. To sum it up, we’re talking about an individual’s responsibility as a designer, entrepreneur, and citizen. Made aware by a constant stream of news about climate change (according to Météo France, 2022 is the hottest year ever recorded in France); frightening United Nation IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports; and natural disasters and heat waves, a young generation of creatives is affirming its ambition to make fashion and be virtuous. Humble but determined, every day they prove that these two pursuits are compatible, even for one of the planet’s most polluting industries. It’s interesting to note that taking on these challenges is easier for reactive, agile, small structures than for big groups that have trouble changing. According to Vincent Grégoire, Consumer Trends & Insights Director for the NellyRodi consulting agency for business strategy, “It’s easier to steer a little boat than an ocean liner.” 

What are some examples of agility? There’s pioneer Andrea Crews, who since 2002 has worked hard to create sustainable fashion and promote upcycling, which means salvaging unused materials and recycling them into quality clothing or objects. Then there’s Atelier Tuffery, which uses organic fabric and has been producing jeans in France since 1892. Its methods are rooted in respect for the environment and for the people who play a role at every step of production. And it’s impossible to not mention other big names, like Bonne Facture and Patine, both B Corp certified (a guarantee that a business has a positive social and environmental impact). Balzac Paris, a société à mission*, proudly publishes a mantra that perfectly sums up the attitude of these committed fashion houses: “Create a world together where what’s desirable is sustainable and what’s sustainable is desirable.” What all these labels have in common is being very tuned in to ecological, social, and economic issues.

We’ve come a long way from lone designers obsessed by their aesthetic vision and only that. Today’s creatives are like Swiss knives searching for meaning and equipped with a clear, active social vision. They are also absolutely convinced that we can no longer do anything as before: neither designing, nor producing, nor selling, nor communicating. Many of them work with short channels and use sleeping stock (unused fabrics or materials). They manage unsold goods by setting up second-hand offers, and they’re careful about material provenance. They also prioritize quality over quantity and focus on clothing that’s long lasting and can be passed on.

To make progress on this path that’s often difficult and full of pitfalls, these businesses get support from structures that help them gain better understanding. For example, at the Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin they can use the Ressources Green platform, where they’ll find a directory including businesses specializing in materials sourcing, CSR consulting agencies, certification organisations, and more. There’s everything they need to achieve their goal of creating clothing that’s desirable but also respectful of the planet as well as staying connected to a clientele that’s also increasingly aware of this needed revolution.

 

* A feature of the 2019 Pacte Law, Sociétés à Mission is a status accorded to businesses that, at the same time as pursuing profit, wish to work for the common good by putting the resolution of social and environmental issues at the heart of their business model. 

+ Vincent Grégoire, Consumer Trends & Insights Director for the NellyRodi consulting agency for business strategy and creativity, shares his thoughts.

“Brands today must adhere to a restrictive legal framework (a ban on destroying unsold goods, the Anti-waste and Circular Economy Law, etc.) In addition, millennials and Gen Zers are experiencing a real search for meaning and a need to assert their ethics, moral guidelines, values, and vision for the world. For businesses to succeed on this path, they need to know who they are, where they want to go, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and what story they want to tell. They have to have convictions and stick to them. They must also take clients and consumers with them and avoid an approach that punishes or excludes. Pleasure is still key: beyond its practical function, clothing should continue to provoke desire.” 

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