Sustainable Chic Hits Capital of Fashion

Tomorrow the carousels at Charles de Gaulle airport will be filled with designer suitcases as the world’s fashion press descend for Paris fashion week – but this weekend a very different showcase opened in the French capital. The Ethical Fashion Show, the world’s largest event devoted solely to sustainable fashion, is now in its seventh year and becoming increasingly mainstream: there are over a hundred brands represented, and the show has outgrown its humble origins in disused warehouses to occupy the new Docks en Seine building, home of the French Fashion Institute.

You’ve killed me! Oh, you’ve killed me! Isn’t it true that you have been paid for your testimony? I could if you hadn’t turned on the light and shut off my stereo. Son, as your lawyer, I declare y’all are in a 12-piece bucket o’ trouble. But I done struck you a deal: Five hours of community service cleanin’ up that ol’ mess you caused. Bender! Ship! Stop bickering or I’m going to come back there and change your opinions manually!

But with the blast shield down, I can’t even see!

This year the show has been taken over by Messe Frankfurt, the world’s largest trade show organiser – a sign that despite the recession, ethical fashion is still a growth market. “It’s become more professional, it looks a lot more like a trade show now,” said Gilles Richard of childrenswear brand La Queue du Chat, who have been exhibiting here for four years.

Several brands from Britain have also made the trip. Sarah Ratty of Ciel, who was showcasing a stunning new digital print, colour-fixed with algae, said she had been lured here for the first time by the involvement of Messe Frankfurt. “It’s really nice to be able to have a platform abroad to showcase great British design with a green twist,” she said.

Other highlights included an ingenious dress by Danish company Diffus, embedded with tiny lights that visibly react to the CO2 levels in the environment around it. Celebrating the UN’s Year of Biodiversity, there is also a particular focus on sustainable fabrics, including loose-knit scarfs and jumpers made from nettle, pineapple and super-soft banana fibres.

Ethical fashion is increasingly moving into the limelight – Mintel estimates that despite the recession the market has more than quadrupled in the last five years, to around £175 million in the UK alone. Last week saw the first sustainable fashion show at London fashion week, as well as a vibrant and busy Estethica showcase. But the organisers of this show are determined to make Paris the capital of ethical fashion – as well as couture and pret-a-porter.

4 Comments View and Post Comments

  1. Prashant Karandikar November 11, 2010

    Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please, eliminate three. P.S. I am not a crackpot. Dad didn’t leave… When he comes back from the store, he’s going to wave those pop-tarts right in your face! What’s the point of going out? We’re just going to wind up back here anyway.

  2. Liam McKay November 11, 2010

    Aaah! Natural light! Get it off me! Get it off me! Old people don’t need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use. Kids, we need to talk for a moment about Krusty Brand Chew Goo Gum Like Substance. We all knew it contained spider eggs, but the hantavirus? That came out of left field. So if you’re experiencing numbness and/or comas, send five dollars to antidote, PO box…

    Marge, you being a cop makes you the man! Which makes me the woman

  3. Aaron Lynch November 11, 2010

    “Thank the Lord”? That sounded like a prayer. A prayer in a public school. God has no place within these walls, just like facts don’t have a place within an organized religion. Can’t you people take the law into your own hands? I mean, we can’t be policing the entire city! Please do not offer my god a peanut. Don’t kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he’d eat you and everyone you care about!

    Aaah! Natural light! Get it off me! Get it off me! When will I learn? The answers to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV! Remember the time he ate my goldfish? And you lied and said I never had goldfish. Then why did I have the bowl, Bart? *Why did I have the bowl?*

  4. Sevenpixels November 11, 2010

    Oh, you’re a dollar naughtier than most. Okay, it’s 500 dollars, you have no choice of carrier, the battery can’t hold the charge and the reception isn’t very