Fashion

Sustainable Fashion in Paris Now

by Krystal Kenney

Paris has always been known as the capital of fashion, but not so much for its ethics relating to clothing. Recently, that has changed.

According to leading French fashion sustainability consultant Laura Hayes, “the city launched ‘Paris Good Fashion’ in 2019, asserting its ambitions to make Paris the sustainable fashion capital by 2024 by building an open community of 62 brands, manufacturers, media, and large fashion groups.”

The brands have agreed to work together. They will create sustainable practices and commit to helping the planet.

Here are some ways France is getting creative with sustainable fashion.

2 photos from a sustainable fashion brand called MaisonCléo. Left: A woman stands in a Parisian street with her hand up in her face to shield her eyes from the strong sun. She is wearing a white long sleeved top and 
a matching black and white printed blazer and pants. Behind her is a white SUV truck and a building. Right: A model is posing, with eyes closed, beside a Parisian metro station, in her checkered orange and green coat, orange bag, and orange dress.
Top: CAVAL / Above: MaisonCléo

MaisonCléo

MaisonCléo is a mother-daughter Lille-based brand committed to reducing production quantities. The brand does this by avoiding fashion calendars or trends. They hand create items in limited runs, using quality fabrics like silk, cotton, and linen. A cult following has developed as a result. Definitely one to watch.

2 pictures from a sustainable watch brand called Awake. Left: A man looks pensive with his hand in his chin. He is wearing a navy blue cap, burgundy top, black pants, and white and gray watch. Right: A woman is posed to show her white and blue watch. She is wearing a white top and black pants, and her hair is light brown.
Awake

Awake

Awake is a brand that makes watches entirely from recycled materials. Everything including the dial and watch hands are powered by solar energy.​ Founder Lilian Thibault combines innovation with respect for the environment. Thibault feels it’s the responsibility of watch brands to join the environmental initiative as well, not just clothing.

2 pictures from sustainable fashion brand Benjamin Benmoyal. Left: Two models are taking a bite from an orange, supporting it only with both of their mouths. Both are wearing the same fabrics of printed textile in stripes and main hues of brown and blue. A model is wearing a blue metallic dress with green ropes and a navy blue boléro.
Benjamin Benmoyal

Benjamin Benmoyal

After graduating from the Central Saint Martins in London, Benmoyal began studying new methods for using sustainable fabrics. He combined what he already knew with a new line of thinking to launch a brand focusing on completely reworked fabrics made from old cassette tapes! He mixes the video cassette tapes with threads to make his own fabrics. His collections are all volume and voluptuous shapes! There is something for everyone.

Left: A picture of La Caserne, the oldest fire station in Paris. Right: A model is posed behind a beige metal construction fence, wearing a green cropped top, denim blazer and mini skirt, and black cowboy boots.
Left: La Caserne / Right: MaisonCléo

La Caserne

The oldest fire station in Paris is set to become the largest sustainable fashion accelerator hub in Europe by June 2021. The 4,000 m2 space will drive collective change in the French fashion industry. This giant warehouse incubate brands, helping them with sourcing raw materials (60% of a garment’s impact), material traceability, and production volumes. Additionally, they will also offer masterclasses, an innovative lab for prototyping, as well as a hub for fashion students. 

2 pictures from sustainable fashion brand Junk Kouture. Left: A woman in a creative ensemble of recycled materials -- yellow headband, mask and top. Right: A woman smiles in her costume of recycled metallic rings in purple, yellow, orange, and green. She also wears a tall headdress made of the same materials.
Junk Kouture

Junk Kouture

Junk Kouture is provides a platform for teens in France to express creativity and engage with sustainable fashion. Teens create their own fashion out of 100% recycled materials. The results are inspiring: Nespresso pods, plastic bottles, orange peels, sea glass, and other throwaway items are sewn, woven, crocheted, embroidered, and knit into beautiful designs fit for the catwalk. Free for teens aged 13-18, students compete to earn money for their education and the chance to stand on stage while thousands of fans cheer on their impressive designs.

2 pictures from sustainable sneaker brand Caval. Left: A model is sitting in an office. The armchair and the table are both colored tan. She is wearing a terracotta colored long sleeved top with light brown pants and white sneaker with brown and white stripes. Right: A model with captivating blue eyes is seen with a white sneaker that is styled with red and pink stripes.
CAVAL

CAVAL Shoes

CAVAL was founded by three friends who refused to wear symmetrical shoes. The friends believed that there was no reason to wear the same shoes when we have two feet. Out of this idea, they began designing sets of shoes with a different design on each. The designs are hip and fun and 100% made in Europe with earth-friendly materials. They also work closely with non-profits committed to helping people with disabilities.

Coalition of French CEOs

In 2019, President Emmanuel Macron hired Kering CEO, François-Henri Pinault, to create a coalition of CEOs and top brands in the fashion industry to join forces and set ambitious sustainability targets together. Kering is the parent company to some of the world’s most iconic fashion brands and that role, a first-of-its-kind, marks a new era of collaboration and open-source cooperation across the fashion industry, and possibly other industries down the line.

2 pictures from sustainable fashion brand Junk Kouture. Left: A woman in a creative ensemble of recycled materials -- wings and dress made of purple, black, and gold textile. Right: A woman smiles in her creative costume made from recycled nets/wires in colors of red and gold.
Junk Kouture

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Written By

Krystal Kenney

Krystal Kenney is a photographer, podcaster, and writer living in Paris. She has recently self-published her memoir, “Paris: A Life Less Ordinary.” She also records a popular podcast called La Vie Creative where she interviews artists in Paris. View Krystal Kenney's Website

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