What happened at Fashion Our Future, the sustainable fashion event of Marie Claire and the Kering Group

The mid-June heatwave was at its peak, with temperatures approaching 100° in Paris, an inescapable reminder of the reality of climate change, when Marie Claire and the Kering group launched Fashion Our Future. On stage at La Caserne (an accelerator dedicated to the ecological transition and fashion), a succession of experts, activists and celebrities from around the world gathered to discuss the design of a better fashion industry. .

Opening the event, a conversation between Marie-Claire Daveu, Sustainable Development and Institutional Affairs Director of Kering, and Katell Pouliquen, Editorial Director of Marie Claire France, insisted on the sad reality of climate change: “We are already feeling the consequences, and we will have to adapt,” Daveu reminded the audience. And women are often on the front line. “What we do in the West has consequences for women and girls in Africa: the lack of water, the resulting break-up of families, and the threat to education too”, explained Aïssa Maïga, actress , activist and documentary filmmaker. Walk on water (Walk on water). In Asia too, female workers, who make up 85% of the workforce in textile factories, suffer from our consumption habits, mostly from the fast fashion sector. If women are the first concerned, they are also among the first to propose solutions. “They become leaders in the garment factories and contribute to changing the laws”, underlined Nayla Ajaltouni, of the Ethics on Labeling collective.

La Caserne in Paris, an accelerator

Fashion Our Future was held at La Caserne, a startup accelerator working on sustainable fashion.

(Image credit: Antoine Flament)

After taking stock of the situation, it was time for solutions. As Pouliquen said in his opening words, “We need to change our lifestyles, including the way we dress.” How? Part of the solution may come through activist brands. Among those acting for change: the French sneaker brand Veja, represented at the event by its co-founder and CEO, Sébastien Kopp. “We want to create a product that respects human rights and the planet. To do this, we went to the field, in Brazil, to meet cotton and rubber producers”, he explained, insisting on the need for transparency and traceability, the two conditions required for truly sustainable fashion. Later, Bénédicte Laloux, artistic director of the Chinese eco-brand ICICLE and Amah Ayivi, founder of Marché Noir, a brand that revisits African clothing, exchanged ideas for solutions to the problems that fashion poses for the environment. Among them: natural dyes, innovative materials and upcycling.

This last concept was at the heart of the event, with an experiential workshop, Sed Nove studio, which participants could visit during breaks, and discussions around the circular economy. Vestiaire Collective’s VP of Marketing and Brand, Vanessa Masliah hammered home the idea: “Fashion’s biggest problem is overproduction, so we need to extend the life of clothes and use what’s out there. already rather than producing new things.” To create more sustainable objects, the industry can also rely on innovative projects. Kering has several, including one presented that day by its spokesperson, Yoann Régent, Head of Sustainable Sourcing & Nature Initiative for the South Gobi Cashmere Project, a program for sustainable cashmere set up in Mongolia. The program emphasizes pastoral techniques that guarantee animal welfare, biodiversity, and improved wages and living conditions for shepherds. Gucci Off The Grid, a collection that promotes the regeneration of materials and textiles by reducing waste and minimizing the use of new resources, was also on display. “Our actions revolve around circularity, regenerative agriculture and biodiversity,” Antonella Centra, EVP General Counsel, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability at Gucci, told Marie Claire US Editor Danielle McNally , while a showroom featured luggage made in their regenerated nylon fabric. , Econyl.

Two couture garments upcycled by Ronald Van Der Kemp

Ronald van der Kemp’s upcycled sewing was on display throughout the event.

(Image credit: Antoine Flament)

Citizens also have their role to play and green influencers were there to help them. Fanny Enjolras-Galitzine, creator of the Instagram account @the_greenimalist, and Lisa Gachet, founder of the fashion brand Make My Lemonade, shared common sense and actionable advice: you will wear something at least 30 times before [deciding to buy] that, said Enjolras-Galitzine. “Sustainability is a long journey,” said Simone Cipriani, founder of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, which works with designers from Africa and Central Asia.

Efforts today will only bear fruit in a few years, which is why it is so important to act now. With the #BeTheChange challenge, an Instagram campaign launched by Marie Claire and Kering to inspire citizens to embody this urgent and vital change, actress Zosia Mamet, model Erin Wasson, Chinese pop-star Chris Lee, muse Balenciaga Suzi de Givenchy, model and spokesperson Doina Ciobanu, and many others have all shared the actions through which they are doing their part, through which they strive to be the change. “Each of us has a role to play,” Daveu concluded.

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