Last week, Ayesha Mustafa, the Founder & Director of Fashion ComPassion, went on a 3 day trip to Paris to research sustainable fashion brands and meet with key individuals who are playing a role in bringing socially responsible fashion into the mainstream of French fashion market.
Ayesha and Kibamba Nimon (Communications & Business Development Intern in Paris) met at Printemps roof terrace to plan out the afternoon.
The breath taking view from Deli-Cieux!
Ayesha and Kibamaba decided to first take a look at EKYOG at Galleria Lafayatte. EKYOG, the Positive Fashion label founded by Nathalie Lebas-Vautier in 2003, works with Soieries du Mékong, a social enterprise which employs women artisans in Cambodia to produce high quality silk scarves. These hand woven scarves are also sold on the Fashion ComPassion website.
A look at EKOG's summer collection!
Next, Ayesha and Kibamaba headed to Pigalle to visit MyPhilosophy, a shop which sells exquisite collections of womenswear produced by artisans in Cambodia.
Kroeusna - the founder of MyPhilosophy.
Kroeusna, the founder of MyPhilsophy, designs and sources fabric from Cambodia and has launched a workshop for unemployed individuals, offering training and employment opportunities through the brand.
Ayesha and Kibamba met with Isabelle Quehe, the founder of the Universal Love Association, who has been actively promoting ethical fashion in Paris for the last 18 years. Launched back in 1995, Universal Love originally supported young artisans as there were not enough venues in Paris to showcase their work to the public. Today, it is, without doubt, one of the biggest names in the ethical fashion industry.
The Universal Love Association spread the word further with its Ethical Fashion Show. Isabella explained the challenges that sustainable fashion was facing in France, with a number of brands failing to make an impact and shutting down. As Paris is more a city where big brands sell, it is not an easy market for sustainable fashion to flourish in.
Brand information pack from the 2012 Ethical Fashion Show.
Isabella took Ayesha and Kibamba through the 2012 brand information pack from Ethical Fashion Show Paris and identified few brands which Fashion ComPassion could work with in the future.
Ayesha and Kibamba met with the founder of Un Eté En Automne, a sustainable fashion label that uses vegetable tan leather in the production of their accessories. Their products are handcrafted by artisans in Morocco, Peru & India.
Un Eté En Automne's window display.
Un Eté En Automne collection.
It was a pleasure to visit Ambryn's store, a creative organic label made in France. Ayesha and Kibamba met with Gabrielle, one of the founders of the brand who showed them around the store and explained the ethos and philosophy behind the brand.
Ambryn's clothing, accessories and scarves are beautifully made using the best organic fabrics with the trendiest cuts and styles.
Ambrym's 2013 Look Book - some of its collection will be on the Fashion ComPassion website soon!
The last stop on the trip was at DeGris, a luxury leather goods company which creates the most exceptional accessories from leather and horn. DeGris is not just a luxury label. It also works with artisans in Haiti and provides them with training and a regular income. DeGris new collection will be available in stores in the next couple of months!
DeGris Press Book.
DeGris Clutch - made of calf leather and handcrafted genuine horn in Haiti.
photo of DeGris' social commitment and its work with La Main, a non-profit organisation which manages the economic and social development of the Haitian artisans.
After the meeting with DeGris, Ayesha and Kibama had a working lunch meeting in order to recap on the various brands they had seen and finalised new brands which would be joining Fashion ComPassion. After a busy couple of days, it was time to say "Au revoir!" to Paris and head back to London. Until the next time!