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By Chantal Brocca
It may have started as a social media campaign – which is probably why you’ve come across waves and waves of Instagrammers posting a close-up of the tag on the inside of their shirts with the caption “Who made my clothes?” But it’s gone way farther than that.
Multiple mini hubs have started to sprout up in different cities and continents around the world in the name of the #FashionRevolution, organizing their own social and environmental awareness events, featuring sustainable fashion pop ups, film screenings, lectures, choreographed dances, and many more ‘edutainment’ activities to trigger consciousness in the minds of a generation accustomed to purchasing the kinds of aspirational brands and fabricated lifestyles that encourage cost-cutting all in the wrong places.
Every year during the anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, conscious consumers are brought together to voice their message through informative creativity, forming a powerful lobby that calls for greater transparency, investigation by fashion brands into the unclear reality of their supply chains, and for consumers to make actively mindful choices.
In Paris, that movement is spurred on by Ethipop, a collective of responsible fashion creatives and creators, in collaboration with Veja, Loom, Les Recuperables and Centre Commercial, a killer team advocating the valorisation of technical know-how, environmental protection and fashion projects based on social solidarity.
In addition to Ethipop’s organized monthly immersive sustainable fashion awareness events dubbed ‘La Mensuelle’ which brings together various ethical players from all over Europe, Fashion Revolution week obviously takes up a hot spot in the yearly calendar. This year, the commemoration of the Rana Plaza collapse was held on April 22 on the banks of the beautiful Canal St. Martin, home of the Parisian bobos, artists and shabby chic bistros.
Participants revelled in a full day of collaborative events, beginning with an artistic presentation mid morning, leading into five publicly broadcasted informative radio emissions delving into the topics of consumer accountability (every purchasing choice we make counts – and yes, these choices will affect us), the blindness of the media to all of this (Eluxe excepted, of course) and how to ultimately revolutionize the industry.
Ethipop clearly knows that the way to spread awareness to those that don’t want to hear doesn’t solely revolve around the spreading of information, they also envisioned an evening of cocktails in an expo of twenty five brands, as well as a fundraising club night on the roof of Cite de la Mode, a space for cultural events and creative expression in the heart of Paris.
This being Paris, these sustainable fashion brands are as chic as you’d expect. What’s great about Ethipop is they love to keep bringing in new players, while always keeping in mind to build long lasting relationships. Only some of Ethipop’s network showcased in this Fashion Revolution day event; however Eluxe also brings you a little insight into a handful of brands from La Mensuelle.
Repurposed and upcycled has never looked so good. Every collection is inherently unique and fantastically surprising, fully dependent on the fabrics they find whilst scouring Paris’s discarded fabric warehouses.
Classic and wardrobe staples were studied from seam to seam in order to come up with clothing that lasts long, past dozens of machine washes and wears, in opposition to the degradation of tailoring know how brought on by fast fashion.
Organic cotton and wild Amazonian caoutchouc, conscious production and a separate line of utterly vegan friendly shoes. Finally, sneakers that look just as good on your feet as they are for the planet.
You want more? Below we bring you La Mensuelle participants: they always vary, you know, to keep you on your toes.
This long time eco-friendly fashion brand has built up years of experience in the field as well as racking up some excellent corporate social responsibility plans. With the current streetwear trend still going strong, you’ll find plenty of anoraks and sweatshirts with an ethical edge.
When ethical streetwear meets labor uniforms. Creators Lepine and Giorgetti wanted to bring casual workwear to Paris, made exclusively in Paris with a buy less, buy better ethos, well before it hit the mainstream in recent years.
Effortlessly cool and decidedly chic, created in collaboration with artisans in Paris’s perennially happening Marais, focusing on creating a real brand story through the many hands through which her label passes in its ethical creation.
Perpetuating the authentic tradition of ‘Made in Germany’, this label scours the country for highly skilled local artisans in order to create garments with not only exceptional fabric, but exceptional finishes.
Besides being totally unique, these recycled bags made from repurposed truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts inspired the brand’s creators to come up with a brand new biodegradable textile.
An entire range of apparel and underwear for her and for him, 100% made in France from start to finish, just like the good old days.
Main image: Les Recuperables