By Chere Di Boscio
Sustainable French fashion brands don’t seem to be all that common, and in fact, the most iconic French clothing labels are pretty damn far from that.
Louis Vuitton, for example, has been accused of paying workers ‘near sweatshop labour‘ rates and skinning alligators alive for their leather; Dior may claim to be all ‘woke’ with its feminist slogan tees, but it uses so many exotic leathers, feathers and fur it’s hard to keep track of how many animals they kill for their collections, and Chloe was given an E rating (the lowest score) but RankABrand for its utter lack of transparency.
But there are a handful of brands, mainly in Paris, that are trying to make their businesses as sustainable as can be, through fair labour practices, and by using upcycled, recycled or natural materials. They’re mainly led by young women, and of course, they all come complete with that French girl chic, too!
Here, I’ve found some tres chic, totally sustainable French fashion brands that I knew of and loved when I lived in Paris. Are there any missing? Drop me a note in the comments section below to let me know!
5 Super Chic Sustainable French Fashion Brands
1. Les Sublimes
‘French wardrobe essentials for cool girls who care’ is the slogan of Les Sublimes, a label launched by Alexis Assoignon and Kachen Hong. The brand uses only “natural, recycled and innovative, botanical fibres,” which consume fewer natural resources, such as water and energy, discourage mass deforestation, and cause less air, water and soil pollution. And they’re pretty strict about that, too, ensuring their textiles have limited or no use of “hazardous substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or GMOs, and are free of harsh chemicals, dyes, toxins and processing agents that could be absorbed by your skin.”
We love the basic French staples they create: Breton tops, white blouses and tees, oversized scarves and pencil skirts, for example. They only create limited numbers of each item and they frequently sell out fast, so if you see something you like, be sure to snap it up fast!
Vegan friendly? No – ethically sourced Merino wool is used. Deliver internationally? Yes, with free carbon neutral delivery for orders over €150
2. Andrea Crews
Fashion, art and activism define this cutting-edge, sustainable Parisian clothing brand, which has made a name for itself by creating innovative and often unisex garments and accessories from recycled and upcycled fabrics and even objects, all designed and assembled by their team in Paris.
In addition, the label is behind the LeCoeur space in the City of Lights, which combines an art gallery, restaurant, photo studio and concept store under one bohemian, artistic roof, attracting the best of Paris’ young and hip fashion crowd. And if you don’t catch Andrea Crews there, you can always try to get a seat at their runway shows, which take place during Paris Fashion Week.
Vegan friendly? No – recycled leather is used. Deliver internationally? Yes
French designer Manon Planche has already created huge waves in with her incredibly unique fashion pieces – one of which was recently worn by British pop star Kate Nash. And now, every two weeks, she has declared she will produce three different pairs of shoes by giving unwanted accessories new life with hand-finished details.
Inspired by the sad sight of end-of-line shoes that were unlikely to find a home, Manon set about rescuing them, pair by pair, to give these shoes (that were pretty much destined for landfill) a new look and a second chance. Her mules, courts and boots undergo a disco-themed makeover to create futuristic footwear with flair.
Vegan friendly? No – upcycled leather is used. Deliver internationally? Yes
Founded all the way back in 2003, Ekyog is undoubtedly a pioneer when it comes to sustainable French fashion. The label only uses the best natural, organic (GOTS-approved) or recycled fibers with a focus on materials that have a low carbon footprint. Of course, the brand goes above and beyond current EU labour legislation with their own ethical charter that guarantees respect for the people involved in every step of production, and they based their choice of partners on this. For example, they don’t allow the use of any toxic or harmful substance in the making of their garments, and they require their partners to guarantee the traceability of their garments from fabric supply and dye to packaging.
Their styles are simple, classic and feminine, with the ‘Frenchness’ of each piece determined once again by close attention to details: beautiful draping on a sleeve; deep, convenient pockets, or perfectly sewn pleating on a skirt, for example.
Vegan friendly? Seems that way. Deliver internationally? Yes
Looking for cute, casual womenswear that’s made from GOTS certified Peruvian cotton? Look no further than this fun French brand! Their name means ‘cotton candy’ and yep – their clothes are as sweet as their ethical policies – the brand has pledged to adopt the GOTS Code of Conduct to take care of the workers in their supply chain.
What makes these cotton staples different – if not downright French – is the attention to detail here: the use of tiny beads on a seam; a decorative strip of gorgeous fabric, or a strategic cutout, for example. But the best thing about this brand is its affordability: tees start at around €35.
Vegan friendly? Yes. Deliver internationally? Yes
Main image: Les Sublimes Second Image: Andrea Crews
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