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Our Top 5 Sustainable French Clothing Brands to Slow Down Fast Fashion

by Matt Barrett
On left: A blond mondel stares piercingly at the camera, arms folded and turned away. She wears a textured tulle shirt, sheer with long-sleeves, and a polk-a-dot detail and ruffles along the shoulders, by the Paris fashion brand Sézane. On right: A model smiles at the camera while sitting on a bed, crumpled sheets behind her. She wears jeans and just an off-the-shoulder cardigan with extra long sleeves by the Paris fashion brad Suzanne.
Top: EKYOG Above: Sézane

Are sustainability and ethics set to become intrinsic to the clothes we wear? Yes. Well, that’s if these five French brands have anything to do with it.

A man casually leans against a loading dock, legs crossed and hands in his pockets, looking away from the camera. He wears a navy hoodie, and cuffed jeans by the ethical French fashion brand Loom.
Loom / Jeanne Perrotte

A swell of opposition to the fast-fashion industry is not only slowing it down; it’s also laying bare the industry’s human and environmental harms, giving the consumer the choice of which values they’ll wear on their sleeves – literally. These five ethical companies are disrupting the fashion capital of the world—a coup d’état bearing a green flag, made of 100% organic cotton.

Loom

On left, a male model sports a ribbed, dark-grey beanie and a sweater from the ethical French fashion brand Loom. On right, a male model sits on a red and white striped wall, skateboard between his legs, sporting cuffed jeans. He adjusts his grey hoodie, both from ethical French fashion brand Loom.
Loom / Jeanne Perrotte

Moins mais mieux,” or “less but better,” in English, is the mantra of ethical French apparel brand Loom. Founded in 2016 by Julia Faure and Guillaume Declair, Loom aims to right what has become an upside-down clothing industry. Through their current generation of men’s essentials—casual t-shirts, button-ups, accessories, and more—Loom hones in on the basics. Currently, only OEKO-TEX-certified fabrics are used (those made without the use of harsh chemicals or dyes). And by 2020, Loom plans to fully transition to organic cotton for all their products.

forlife.

On left: a male model causally crosses a street in Paris with his brown suede jacket slung over his shoulder, designed by the ethical French fashion brand forlife. On right: a campaign poster for the ethical French fashion brand forlife. A male model stands in front of a vintage car on a beautiful but deserted country road. He wears a blue and white striped button down and dark sunglasses.
forlife. / Piergab Pichon

Brothers Lucas and Séverin Bonnichon, founders of the French clothing label Cuisse de Grenouille, launched forlife. in June 2018. Their newest enterprise draws inspiration from Patagonia and its founder, Yvon Chouinard, both “in business to save our home planet.” Operating on a one-product-at-a-time model and designing to last, this sustainable brand further reduces its carbon footprint by crowdsourcing its to-be-classics before making them, thereby avoiding overproduction. From a materials perspective, three of the nine products they’ve released so far are made with organic cotton: the Marlon t-shirt, the Paul sweatshirt, and the Ralph oxford shirt (currently available for pre-order). 

On left: a male model stands on a shaded sidewalk next to a statue in Paris. He is on the phone and wearing a motorcycle-style chestnut-colored jacket and white t-shirt by the ethical French fashion brand forlife. On right: a male model with a mop of curly brown hair looks back toward the camera as he sits on a bicycle. He wears a light grey t-shirt and white chinos from the ethical French fashion brand forlife.
Forlife. / Piergab Pichon

Sézane

On left: a model leans back in a chair at a restaurant, looking out the window as sunlight floods her face. She wears a fuzzy, ribbed pink v-neck cardigan with three-quarter sleeves that ties in a neat bow, by the Paris-based fashion brand Séazne. On right: a model lays on an unmade bed as sunlight spills in through the window. She is wearing a floral-patterned sweater with large swatches of dusty rose, deep green, and dark blue. Complimenting the roses are her paper-bag style high-waisted pants with a statement belt buckle. Both pieces are by the Paris-based fashion brand Sézane.
Sézane

Sézane was founded in Paris in 2013 by Morgane Sézalory. Its vintage-inspired aesthetic is paired with forward-thinking, environmentally conscious materials and a mission to give back to the world. On the 21st of every month, a new design is released and 100% of the profits are donated to Sézane’s philanthropic program, DEMAIN. Additionally, 10% of the day’s profits, for both Sézane and Octobre Editions (their men’s line), also go towards this program. Sézane’s holistic approach shows the good that can transpire when a shirt becomes more than clothing.

On left: In a timeless, black-and-white image, a model looks down at the camera as her hair is whipped by the wind to the right side of her face as she stands in front of the Paris metro, wearing clothes by the Paris-based fashion brand Sézane. On the right: A model, wearing Sézane, looks down at the camera, one hand resting casually on the long strap of her bag.
Sézane

EKYOG

On left, a brunette model wears a satin-y blue winter dress as she looks at the camera. On right, a model sports a cozy off-white coat with a large, deep V-neck lapel and deep pockets.
EKYOG

This women’s apparel brand has been at it since 2003 and has a wealth of ethical certifications to show for it: GOTS- or OC-certified organic cotton, RWS (Responsible Wool Standard)-certified wool, OEKO-TEX 100 (no harsh chemicals or dyes used on fabrics that touch the skin), 100% recycled polyester… The list goes on. In terms of aesthetic, EKYOG strikes a balance between everyday basics—from grey skinny jeans and simple tee’s—to more stylish pieces, such as floral prints and dresses.

Les Sublimes

On the left: The photographer captures the model mid-laugh, her red lips parted to show her teeth. She wears a simple spaghetti-strap tank top from the ethical fashion brand Les Sublimes. On the right: A model throws up her arms in a playful manner, throwing back her head. Her black v-neck top and forest green, high-waisted pants from the fashion brand Les Sublimes move with her as she dances in the street.
Les Sublimes

Since 2015, Les Sublimes has been making elegant French classics designed to be the staples of your wardrobe. This Parisian women’s label emphasizes the power of clothing for self-expression, not only in terms of personal style, but as a demonstration of our values. Their 10 Commandments of Ethical Fashion, as well as transparency of materials used, states boldly who they are as a brand—as clear as the stripes on their marinières. Carbon-neutral shipping, recyclable packaging, and ethically sourced materials is a message we can all get behind. 

Sitting against an elegant wrought-iron gate, a model gazes off into the distance wearing a comfy grey sweatshirt by the ethical fashion brand forlife., and his wild brown curls are tamed by a deep blue baseball cap worn backwards.
Forlife. / Piergab Pichon

Addresses

Loom (available at l’Exception) – 24 rue Berger 75001 Paris

forlife. – online only

Sézane – several locations

EKYOG – several locations

Les Sublimes – online only

Related links:

On the left: A model cozies up on a rug next to a recliner, arms and legs folded. A ribbed- v-neck, fuzzy grey sweater by the Paris-based fashion brand Sézane gently slips off her right shoulder. On the right: Against a dusty red backdrop and sitting casually on a red and gold chair, a model stares at the camera sporting a deep red velvet pyjama set, the top unbuttoned with a deep v-neck, but cheekily tied at the waist.
Sézane

Written by Matt Barrett for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a  fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.

Written By

Matt Barrett

Matt is a Korean American adoptee living in Paris. In addition to teaching 7-year-olds the difference between saying bear and beer, he loves stand-up comedy, the Modern Love column, and challenging France’s 1900 baguette consumption numbers (three per person per day). His writing has appeared in Thrive Magazine, Experience Life, Face the Current, and Gessato Blog. View Matt Barrett's Website

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