With the current climate crisis, many of us have taken a step back to analyze the damages our consumption of fashion has on the environment. From being happy to buy multiple items simply because they had a small price tag, we have started shifting towards trying to buy more secondhand, vintage, or sustainably made clothes. But a new phenomenon has emerged with brands releasing collections that are meant to be more “conscious”, and “green”. But what truly lies behind these claims? Are these companies trying to take a step in the right direction? Or has greenwashing become a new marketing tool?

It can be difficult to see what really lies behind eco-friendly buzzwords and claims, that’s why we are going to give you tips and tricks to see if you are dealing with greenwashing. According to Jay Westervelt who coined the term, greenwashing happens when a company says it is doing more for the environment than it truly is, using misleading and false allegations. Here are some key questions to recognize greenwashing:

Are these sustainable initiatives important to the company as a whole?

Try to look past a brand’s most popular sustainable products and do research on their website about their process in general. Does the brand make it a point to use a majority of recyclable or biodegradable materials? Where do these come from? What type of packaging materials do they use? The answer to these questions points to whether the sustainable initiatives are applied to the entire company, and its different steps (sourcing of materials, production, distribution, etc…) or only to one small part. H&M for instance has a “Conscious” collection, which is meant to be eco-friendly, but is only a tiny part of their clothing sales as a whole. The brand is making only a tiny profit from its sustainable collection, the vast majority coming from its regular clothes.

Of course, we have to bear in mind that it will take longer for large companies to move towards sustainable options, since they have big supply chains that are harder to monitor. On the other hand, big companies also have the means to invest in the newest eco-friendly technologies or to develop them. Smaller companies, on their part, have smaller supply chains that they can have more control over, since they sell less products. Depending on the size of the brand, we can have different expectations.

Do the sustainable goals expressed by the company include numbers and clear objectives?

When you look on the company’s website for information on their eco-friendly goals, you should be able to find clear numbers and objectives. Using the terms sustainable, green, conscious, or eco-friendly can just be a vague and alluring façade meant to reassure the consumer that he is making a smart choice, when he is in fact not. If a brand is serious about its environmental goals it tends to be very transparent, backing up its commitments with information and quantifiable goals.

For instance, H&M’s Conscious collection is made of organic cotton. One of the biggest problems with cotton is the quantity of water it takes to produce it, which can have terrible consequences on landscapes, yet H&M does not mention how it deals with this issue.

What is the company’s reputation?

Is this company known for its desire to make sustainable clothes, produce less but better, taking a stand for the environment? Brands who market themselves as green but are not actually eco-friendly can mislead the consumer into buying clothes for cheap: smaller brands that have a holistic commitment to making sustainable clothes are in turn discredited, seeming unattainable and expensive.

Moreover, fast fashion brands have business models based on consumerism, they release new trendy low-quality products every week and depend on people shopping extremely regularly. This is a far cry from a sustainable mode of consumption: the most efficient way to help the environment remains buying less and only when necessary. A common misconception is that you should get rid of all your fast fashion clothes when you decide to have a more sustainable approach. This is counterproductive, as throwing your clothes away when they are still in good shape is a waste of resources. On the contrary, try to keep your clothes in good condition for as long as you can, and rather than throwing them away, try to give them a second life when they are no longer wearable (you could make scrunchies, pouches, or reusable handkerchiefs for example).

We hope this guide will help you make more informed fashion choices in the future! To go further, we recommend you check out Fashion Revolution’s website, which is full of useful resources to learn more about the fashion industry.  

Article by Inès Huet

If you’re looking for something shiny and chic but aren’t wanting to burn a hole in your pocket we have the best selection of the finest jewelry boutiques or E-shops of France. 

WAEKURA

Every piece of jewelry in Waekura’s collections are made solely in France. Every piece of jewelry is created to be durable and of high quality. If you would like to create something very special and personalized for a loved one, Waekura does customized engravings on their jewelry. It would be the perfect gift to tell someone how much you mean to them.

20 rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris

 24 rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris: Le Bon Marché, 1st floor

E-SHOP: https://www.waekura.com/collections/tous-nos-bijoux-1

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8b8xXTJLtk/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

EMMA & CHLOÉ

A handmade jewelry brand created by women for women. Each piece is made uniquely to mix and match to suit all your desires to accessorize. You can find anything like a dainty and simple necklace or a chunky eye-catching ring. Being a team of all women, they know just what you are looking for!

Where you can purchase:

E-Shop: https://www.emma-chloe.fr/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9ObAI3npa8/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

LÕU.YETU 

This brand has an exquisite boutique in Paris that you can’t miss going into. It gives you that luxurious feel we all love while looking at jewelry but without all the extra 0’s on the price tags. They also have an amazing selection of pieces you can customize but if not their lookbook is just as impressive.

Jewelry Bar: 12 RUE VOLNEY – 75002 PARIS

E-Shop: https://louyetu.fr/en/

https://www.instagram.com/p/B84DPW6ILn1/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Today, we are all aware of what is happening globally that is causing floods, wildfires, and pollution. It is going to take all of us together to start working towards a more sustainable lifestyle for us to make a drastic change for the sake of our future. Granted, it is easier said than done. Luckily, we live in a world of apps to simplify our daily lives. By using these apps you are able to start making eco-conscious choices and will make you more aware of your current footprint. 

  1. THINK DIRTY

If you download this application you are able to search or scan beauty brands you use to give you information about the “dirty” and toxic ingredients potentially in your products that can be harmful to you or to the environment. It will give you the level of dirty and explain the reasoning why. Think Dirty will also give your recommendations for cleaner products that you can switch too.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B81wJYanNP-/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

2. GOOD ON YOU 

This is the perfect app to look into detail about the brands you are wearing and getting a clear picture of their impact on the environment, how they treat their workers, and the treatment of animals. They give you trusted brand ratings and sustainable and ethical fashion labels to discover.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7Wez3sHsoY/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

3. JOULEBUG 

By using JouleBug you are able to easily start changing your everyday habits with helpful how-to videos, and information articles. You are able to track your daily sustainable acts of goodness and encourage friends through the app to do the same.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsoMnNKnZym/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

4. ECOCRED

EcoCRED was created to make your life easier by providing simple solutions to climate change and what eco-friendly habits you can adapt to your everyday lifestyle. With this app, you are rewarded for your efforts every time you complete an eco-habit! You can also measure and track your footprint and the progress you make overtime for reducing it. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BztQRReFY98/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

5. VEGANMAP

Vegan Maps provides you * for free* with vegan and raw food restaurant options in over 150 countries. Instead of walking aimlessly or scrolling through google maps you can just check on their map for recommendations in the city you’re in. It will even update you on restaurant and cafe openings allowing you to try the newest next best thing. If you fall in love with a place you can save it so you can be sure to make it back.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ_GQHIBOHJ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Written By: Katie Chaplin

Away from all the french controversies regarding modest swimwear and hijab, we flew to Dubai in order to discover Nike’s newest reveal: The Victory Swim Collection. Since its public launch on December 10th, the collection who is going up for sale in February 2020, has quite drawn attention towards the brand- whether it be positive or negative.

This collection pushes the boundaries and barriers of innovation and design for all women, offering them an empowering swimwear range that focuses on efficient performance. The collection is composed of the Victory Swim Full-Coverage Swimsuit, the Swim Hijab, the Tunic Top and the Swim Legging that either comes in large or tight. You will be able to either buy the pieces separately, creating the swim outfit yourself, or buy it how it comes. There are three colour options as of now: Blue, Black and deep Purple. The Swim Hijab has mesh pockets that keep hair in place, holding it firmly so that it won’t budge while swimming. Another important detail is the built-in sport bras in both the swimsuit and the tunic top which is a huge innovation for hijabis who previously had to wear a bikini underneath their modest swimwear to have coverage and support. Moreover, each piece has a UPF 40+ sun protection in order to protect the swimmers skin. The whole collection offers a head to toe drainage system with a gill-like built in vents with open-meshed articulations which creates breathable, light and free movements in the water.

Everything has been thought to provide a unique experience under water. Martha Moore, the Vice President creative director at Nike, has worked with a design team to come up with a collection that would ensure women to feel strong and confident without having any other distraction. Their main focus was to create products that function perfectly, that would feel lightweight and dry fast. For Moore, the collection had to be functional before making it aesthetic. Once they overcame the practical challenges, they added colour touches and mermaid holographic details. Which is honestly one of the best thing to look at. Thanks to the Victory Swim Collection, women can now move and practice their sport easily. The motto of this range according to Moore is « I look good I feel good, I feel good i play good ». It is all about feeling like you could win a gold medal, not actually winning it. Having noticed the issues women had with swimming, Moore and her team wanted to open possibility of the delight of sport so that everyone can enjoy it regardless of: culture, body type and body consciousness.

It is owing to the huge success of the Nike’s Pro Hijab that this collection saw the light of day. So many women and athletes felt confident and empowered by that first drop that Nike had to continue to provide such assistance. The brand always relies on their surroundings to solve in the most accurate way their requests. Listening to athletes such as Nouf, Saudi Arabia’s first woman scuba diver, the collection slowly started taking shape. During our interview, Nouf said she didn’t feel confident in a basic swimsuit because of how tight it was. She had to put clothes on top to make it look more modest, hence feeling too suffocating. It is when she founded her own scuba diving club for women called « Pink Bubbles Divers », that she started noticing that many women were too conscious of going under water or even above water because of the unfitting swimwear. Noting that, Nike made products that are body skimming and conscious of all the issues women had to deal with, meaning creating products that does no compress the body and is not skin showing. According to Nouf, this collection is going to be a game changer in all fields.

The Victory Swim Collection is aimed at any women wanting to enjoy water. However, it is undoubtedly a strong statement for Muslim women. Whether it was intended by Nike or not, that shouldn’t be the primary focus of the collection. The worldwide known brand proved over the decade that what really matters to them is the wellbeing of their athletes and making clothes that would allow them to focus on their practices. That was first proven in 1984, with Joan Benoit, and now in 2020 with this Victory Swim Collection. Not having to deal with the efficiency of one’s gear is a privilege that Nike is ready to offer to every single woman. Besides, women that are not only athletes should feel included in this Victory Swim Collection. You want to enjoy swimming without having to be conscious of your body? You will love this collection.

Article de Balkis Hmida.

Nick Onken is a Brooklyn-based multi-talented artist and photographer, whose latest creative endeavor includes a line of bespoke, handcrafted hats, inspired by his many adventures around the globe.

Nick’s positive attitude is infectious. No wonder our very own Web editor-in-chief fell in admiration with his beautiful energy, creative genius, and above all, his unique sense of style, while on a work trip with Nike. Nick was shooting the campaign, coiffed with the most playfully designed hat she had ever seen. Of course, she wanted to know more. Little did she know that looking into Nick’s bio meant diving head first into an inspiring rabbit hole, occupied my none other than the most prolific mad hatter. Simply put, Nick has a laundry list of talents and projects that have him travel all over the world. He’s photographed and interviewed countless inspiring personalities and celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Usher, Jessica Alba, and Bono, on his NIONradio podcast and for world-renowned magazines. His passport overflows with entry stamps: Europe, South America, Polynesia, you name it; he’s been there. He does, however, have a soft spot for Africa, where he champions the importance of education for the future generation, by taking stunning photographs for the charity, Pencils of Promise. We managed to catch up with Nick, in between 2 flights, to know more about what pushed him to add hat maker to his resume, and figure out how he constantly fuels his creativity. 

Paulette: Hey Nick! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what is it that you do… 

Nick: I am a creator, and one of my favorite mediums is hats. I hail from the soggy city of Seattle and am based in Brooklyn, New York, now. I like to weave deeper things in life with the things that I create. 

How did your passion for hats come about?

A friend of mine, Satya, invited me to make hats with her in her hat factory a few years back, and I got curious about taking the designs in my own direction. It evolved as I played around with them.

Would you walk us through the process of making a hat? What are the steps and how long does it take? 

The first step in making a hat is blocking it. Blocks come in many different shapes and that’s what creates the shape of the crown part of the hat. You then have to steam and stretch the felt over the block with a milliners string and shape it. Then flatten out the brim with an iron. Once that’s done, you spray stiffener on it to keep the shape. Then, I hand sew the sweatband inside. I like leather sweatbands, as it gives the hat some structure. From there, I start designing it, by picking out a fabric for the band around, burning the hat, or painting it. Maybe, all of those for a same hat. The design is pretty open ended at that point. I add my signatures, like a stick of Selenite, the highest vibrational stone.

Nice! Where does your inspiration come from?

My hats are inspired by my photography. I’ve always loved photographing people with hats. I get a lot of inspiration from my travels, as I’ve been to over 60 countries and 7 continents. I tend to make my hats look weathered and well traveled. I’m inspired by different cultures, by the patterns and textures they use in their different cloths and such. I also like finding vintage pins and other artifacts at flea markets. I also love painting on things. So, I’ve integrated that into some of my hat designs. Sometimes, I play around with different themes and find artifacts that help create that vibe.

Who do your hats cater to?

My hats cater to people that appreciate one of a kind bespoke items that no one else has. Typically people that want something unique with some personalized elements. They are high-end custom. A lot of times, people that are well traveled themselves. 

Speaking of travels, what has been the most significant experience you’ve had or the most exciting trip you’ve taken in the past year?

I’ve had a few amazing trips this year. Traveling to Morocco was highly inspiring in regard to cultural nuances. I just got back from Madagascar, which I’d never been before. A category 4 hurricane chased us out. I also went to Finnish Lapland earlier this year, which was amazing. The North Pole is where reindeers and the Amanita muscaria mushrooms originate. I found an Amanita muscaria mushroom pin for a hat that I will use soon.

Making bespoke hats is just one of your many, many jobs. What’s the most exciting thing about doing so many different things?

I would personally call them passions, instead of “jobs”. When you love what you do, I don’t think it is necessarily a “job”. That said, I’m a photographer and I photograph a lot of people, from celebrities to kids in Africa for a charity called Pencils of Promise. I also have a podcast where I interview high-level creatives and people doing big things in the world. I love having conversations with these people. Occasionally, I paint murals and do other types of canvas art. I love the variety of creating in different mediums.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3R5vxan11X/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
|Photographs taken by Nick Onken in Ghana, for the charity Pencils of Promise (@nickonken)|

And lastly, where can we buy your bespoke hats?

You can head over to my Onkenhat Instagram account, and see what I’m working on hat wise. Feel free to DM me if you’re interested in getting your own custom hat.

Thank you, Nick! 

Interview by PK Douglas

Find out more about Nick Onken here.

As Christmas Day slowly approaches, the race to buy the most beautiful tree, glittery decorations and heart-warming gifts for family and friends is in full swing! Crafting the perfect Christmas dinner menu also proves a task of its own. However, planning a successful holiday feast doesn’t have to be a burden on the environment and the planet. What if we collectively had the Greenest and most eco-friendly Christmas ever? That’s a gift Mother Nature would truly appreciate. 

2019 will go down as a year of global awakening and understanding of the challenges that humanity is facing in the age of climate change. Along with the massive shifts and radical changes that big companies and corporations have to make, individual attitudes towards consumerism, specifically around the holidays, will also have an impact in saving and preserving our planet’s natural resources. Here are simple ways you can plan a sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas celebration, without spoiling the fun for anybody, of course!

Rent a Live Christmas Tree

Fake Christmas trees might be reusable year after year, thus checking the sustainable box. However, study shows that you would have to use the same plastic tree for at least 20 years for it to be greener that a real tree. Once discarded, fake Christmas trees are hardly ever recycled, and end up in landfills. Why not choose to adopt your Christmas tree, instead? You can pick a live tree, decorate it, have it in your home for the holidays, and safely return it back to the tree farm you bought it from. They will put it back in soil, in the hope that it continues to grow. How lovely! Here are some options for an environmentally friendly Christmas tree.

Switch to LED Christmas Lighting

LED lighting is much more environmentally friendly than traditional twinkling incandescent Christmas lights, because it uses up to 80% less energy. Having solar-powered lights outdoors is also a great way to use less electricity. Putting both indoors and outdoors lights on a timer will not only be more sustainable, but your energy bill will be reduced as well. So, make the switch and look for LED lighting anywhere you can!

Buy Locally Made and Eco-friendly Gifts

Buying the perfect gift for a loved one is challenging enough. Making it green and sustainable may feel like the impossible task. Well, not if you think smart and local. Local craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation (that contributes to greenhouse emissions and global warming). And gifts made locally often have a story which goes with the gift, since the artisan and the origin of the gift are known. Locally made, plastic-free, eco-certified, and thoughtfully shopped gifts are the way to go. Your family and friends, as well as your own conscience will thank you for it.

At Paulette, we looked for the best sustainable and environmentally conscious stores and brands in our own neighborhood to get our gift shopping on. Manifeste011 (for their vegan fashion), Hast (for their TIPA compostable pouch and packaging), Smallable (for their wide selection of eco-friendly kids’ toys), Whole (for their in-house hand-dyed fabrics and home goods), The Naked Shop (for their zero-waste beauty bar), and Toasties (for their colorful range of accessories made of recycled sheepskins) are great options to please everyone in your family on Christmas eve or Christmas day, depending on when you open the gifts. No early peeking allowed!

Use Environmentally Friendly Wrapping Paper and Christmas Decorations

As we all know, wrapping paper usually ends up in the garbage can faster than we can say “Merry Christmas!”. Added to their single use every year, non-recyclable elements like foil, glitter or plastic make traditional wrapping paper a less than desirable option for a Green Christmas. Recycled wrapping paper is a great alternative for big gifts. However, small gifts can easily be wrapped in a beautiful and colorful fabric square. In Japanese culture, this technique is known as Furoshiki – the art of wrapping clothes, gifts, or other goods in a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. That’s basically receiving 2 gifts in 1. What more can you ask for? Sustainable Christmas tree decorations, perhaps? Well, most decorations are taken out and put up, year after year for the holidays, then safely put away for 11 months, becoming family heirlooms that last for generations. If you do wish to add to your collection however, look to companies such as Nkuku for designs made from brass, glass, and wood.

Shop smart and locally (with a grocery list) to avoid food waste

Christmas dinner is a touchy subject, I get it. Part of the fun is feeling utterly stuffed with roasted chicken or turkey, pecan or sweet potato pie, fresh oysters, tasty foie gras, you name it! However, opting for a Green Christmas dinner will reduce the carbon footprint of all the ingredients that will be used to prepare the much-anticipated mouthwatering dinner. Try and support local and ethical small-scale producers, buy seasonal fruits and vegetables, and avoid single use plastic to wrap up anything. If you’re feeling daring, cooking a completely vegan holiday dinner is actually not that hard and quite tasty, if you ask us. If you do end up with leftovers, despite the strict grocery list, and you’re in the seasonal giving spirit, you might want to wrap up some food, and bring joy and a little bit of comfort to people in need in your local shelter or Red Cross.

Reconnect with Nature on Christmas Day

Christmas is a time for giving and a time for family. What a great opportunity to start a family tradition of reconnecting with nature and instilling the values of sustainable living to your children, family and friends. Why not start an annual run, hike, or just a walk in a nearby forest or park. Earth-friendly activities such as bird counting, planting a small tree, or decorating a tree for the birds – with seeds for them to eat – will also be an opportunity to get you outdoors with family and friends for a few hours to build an appetite for the big dinner to come.

Above all else, spend quality time with the people you love, and enjoy yourself. The Paulette Team wishes each and everyone of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Article by PK Douglas

For all your Green Christmas gift shopping in Paris, visit Manifeste011 (14, rue Jean-Macé 75011 Paris), Hast (87, rue d’Aboukir 75002 Paris / 7, rue des Batignolles 75017 Paris), The Naked Shop (75, rue Oberkampf 75011 Paris), Whole (86, rue Jean-Pierre Thimbaud), Smallable (82, rue du Cherche-Midi 75006 Paris), and Toasties (14, rue du Château d’Eau 75010 Paris).

Sometimes when we are getting dressed, inspiration comes to us right away. Other times we stand in front of our closet with no idea what to wear. Those times, it would be nice for someone to pick out an outfit for us that would feel interesting and like we haven’t worn it a thousand times already. To find new ideas and creative ways to pair your clothes, why not follow women whose style speaks to you?

Boyish

Halemur has an impeccable (at times) androgynous style, always wearing neutral colors, and interesting shaped clothes. Her preference for straight-legged pants with a slight ankle crop, clean shirts and beanies, does not stop her from wearing dresses from time to time, all the while remaining true to her overall aesthetic.

Colorful

A good dose of color can put anyone in a good mood. That’s why we love pyperbleu’s style, and color palette. She always manages to find interesting shades to combine, all the while playing with texture and size. What’s more, the YouTuber has had long colorful hair, dyed many colors like blue and pink, so if you have colored hair as well and have started wearing all black or white because you don’t know what to pair it with, let her pyperbleu be your guide!

Vintage

Elufée is a French jewelry maker who wears almost exclusively vintage clothing. This makes for truly original outfits, with one-of-a-kind pieces, that the creator manages to combine in fun and elegant ways. She also has her own vintage online shops where she sells some of her best secondhand finds!  

Feminine ease

Arden Rose has that rare ability to throw anything on and look both effortless and chic. Whether it be a plain white t-shirt or a little skirt, her easy feminine style makes her a great source of fashion inspiration, that is surprisingly easy to recreate at home.

Folk

Florence, the singer from the band Florence and the Machine, always looks like something out of a 70s dream. She prefers long, flowy fabrics, including dresses, jackets and kimonos, that gracefully drape her long figure. She also likes pairing different prints together and adding a unique pair of boots to top off her whole outfit. Her boho folk style seems very approachable in her ootd pictures, so do not be afraid to get inspired by this talented lady.

Article by Inès Huet

In this article we talked at length about how to dress more sustainably: one of the elements mentioned was reworking or customizing our clothes rather than throwing them away when they no longer satisfy us. There are so many creative ways to transform an old jacket, vintage shirt, or your grandfather’s oversized pants into something unique. Below we review some of the best and easiest ways to give new life to clothes.

Use some paint

With fabric paint you can draw on your clothes: either creating a simple design, like Jess Chen or an elaborate painting, like Jim Reno in this tutorial video. You can use markers or paint, on any type of fabric: jackets, sweatpants, even your Converse! Try sketching your pattern on paper before taking the plunge, to make sure you adjust it before making it permanent.

Add a patch

To do this, you can either buy patches made by artists, or cut out fabrics you like and stitch them unto your clothes. Sonia Illustration’s artistic patches can give a new twist to your denim jacket, if you stitch it on the back of a jean jacket. But patches are not limited to denim jackets, you can add them to the elbows of a sweater, on the trimming of your pant pockets, on the edge of your shirt collar, etc….

Change the buttons

This may seem like a trivial detail, but buttons can really change the appearance of a garment. If you have a simple jacket or cardigan that you never wear because it seems too boring, try switching the buttons to make a statement. Big flat gold buttons, pearl ones, flower-shaped numbers, there is a button out there for whatever style you want to convey.

Dye it

Remember the tie-dye projects you did in middle school? Dyeing your clothes does not mean they have to come out looking like the work of a school arts and crafts class.

Do some embroidery

If you know how to embroider, or want to learn how to, this technique can be a really nice way to make your clothes original. You have control over the design, and you can perfect your skill to make more and more elaborate design with time. Like paint, this is also a satisfying way to express your art style through your clothes, and feel proud of your craft.

Add pins

Pins are an effective way to change your clothes, and they are commitment free. When you tire of them, you need only unpin them to change the look of your garment. You can add them to pockets, your collar, pile them up or only use one to make a statement. Pins also come in different forms: there are “simple” metal ones or more intricate ones made of velvet, as designed by…

Finally, you can always get your clothes professionally tailored, if you don’t feel like you have the skills to re-stitch them to give them the shape you want by yourself.

Article by Inès Huet

“Buy Less. Choose Well. Make It Last” says Vivienne Westwood. The Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette launched their “Changeons de mode” (Fashioning Change) campaign to push for a more sustainable fashion industry, and hosted a talk with the queen of punk, Vivienne Westwood. She shared her view on the fashion industry, and proved that she is still as punk as she was in her thirties.

The climate change crisis is here and people are more careful when buying products. So, more and more brands are changing to sustainable production cycles. But Dame Vivienne Westwood has been thinking about sustainable fashion for years. It’s only logical that she were the guest of the Parisian Galeries Lafayette to launch their “Changeons de mode” (Fashioning the change) campaign to think about the future of fashion.

Vivienne Westwood has been designing clothes and shaping fashion for years. Starting with her small shop in King’s Road in London, she dressed band members of the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls, and went on to mold the 1970s punk scene. At the heart of the punk movement, Westwood saw “youth and anger versus age“. Young people were mad at the generation that was responsible for the Vietnam War but still in power. Together with her partner, Malcolm McLaren who was managing the Sex Pistols, she conveyed political messages through clothing.

Throughout her career as a designer, her style has evolved but has always remained true to its punk roots. She keeps on using her platform to share her political views, including the preservation of the planet. She started her website climaterevolution.co.uk to share her ideas, educate and find a solution to environmental problems. People can’t afford to not care about climate change, because it will impact everyone. And if nothing is done very soon, it will be too late. So she advises people to take an interest in climate change, try not to shop too much or shop responsibly, avoid driving regularly and take public transportation.

Fixing the issues

Westwood sees one big problem today, the “rotten dollar”. Governments only wish for more money and create poverty and crime. And if they are responsible for crime, politicians are criminals themselves. She is not afraid to call out leaders, the usual suspects such as Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, but also more popular politicians such as Barack Obama.

Vivienne Westwood created a banner that sums up her world view for the Galeries Lafayette talk. At the heart of her philosophy is what she calls “1 World Rent.” She believes humans are just renting the Earth. In her ideal world, land – which includes oceans, airwaves… – should not belong to individuals so that they can make more profit (capitalism), nor should it belong to everyone (communism); it should belong to no one. People would just be renting land to a responsible government that would hold the authority and trust of a democracy and would make sure the planet is protected. She thought about the way to make farmers and people living off of the land happy and it would be that: people would not have their land taken away; they could still hold and use it for perpetuity as long as they treat it with respect.

Fighting for the future

But Vivienne Westwood manages to stay positive and keep fighting. Even though, she feels “terrible sometimes, so tired,” she has an optimistic nature and when she feel possessed by ideas, she has to act on it. She has a lot to live for and she cares about people. She believes in being her best self. And, ultimately, she “believe[s] in life.” Young activists like Greta Thunberg impress her. The young Swede “is wonderful” and “serves the cause of democracy” by giving people a focus.

While she believes in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto, she wants to focus on the “reduce” part of the trio, specifically in production. Next season, Vivienne Westwood is reducing her collection by half and will make it in Italy (because in England they’re “just not good enough”) so that less people will have to travel. She continues to work in fashion because she wants to create THE company of the future. She would love to make into law that once you expand your brand to a certain point, you can’t expand anymore and you have to give your profits to charity. Westwood is also advocating for the end of wasteful practices like the use of cotton and denim. She stopped making jeans and has decided to tell people to go to second-hand shops.

Article by Juliette Cardinale

Known for her extravagant gowns, sky-high hairdos and royal status, Marie-Antoinette is one of the most famous queens of France. Her fashion sense and personality continue to influence trends and inspire creatives. In Sofia Coppola’s film, for instance, Marie-Antoinette is depicted as a frivolous, naïve young girl, more interested in dresses, pastries and partying than engaging in political intrigue. This is one of the common representations of the queen: a foolish woman obsessed with her appearance and having fun. Yet, there is also another side to the historical figure: a rebellious, independent woman. Hated or admired, Marie-Antoinette has always sparked strong emotions, as did her eccentric way of dressing. Clothing can be a means to communicate and convey a statement; it is seldom as futile as it seems. Was Marie-Antoinette a selfish fashion victim – who told the starving people to eat brioche – or was her clothing a way for her to express her bold and free spirit?

At 14, Marie-Antoinette was thrown into one of the cruelest courts in Europe. Chosen on the basis of her physical beauty and for political reasons, she was meant to give birth to the future king of France. Her every move was scrutinised and discussed. It did not sit well with her that for the first seven years of her marriage with the king, they were never intimate. At the time, with her sole purpose being to produce an heir, her failure to do so was extremely humiliating and the object of public criticism. 

Quickly, the queen made it clear that she was going to live according to her own rules. She did not appreciate the strict code of conduct and etiquette of the court, and soon found her own safe space at the Trianon: a smaller palace close to Versailles, flanked with a functioning farm, where she retreated by herself or with her friends to rest and throw the occasional luxurious party. Except that according to protocol, the queen was meant to sleep with the king – her not doing so was deemed scandalous.

Scandal remained associated with Marie-Antoinette throughout her life. By choosing not to abide by the rules associated to her rank, Marie-Antoinette made many enemies. Gossip and slander became extremely common, even after she finally had her first child. Her choice of dresses, far from being inconspicuous, was another form of rebellion on her part.

Through her sartorial choices, Marie-Antoinette transgressed the traditional social order. Bored of her husband, and allowed no real political role, the queen decided to play her last card: use fashion as a means of self-expression, in a court where everything was about appearance. A true fashionista, Marie-Antoinette came up with outrageous, fancy dresses and hairdos with her stylists. She refused to wear the traditional corset of the time, deeming it an object of torture. As the queen of France, she was allowed to follow fashion, but without provocation. Marie-Antoinette disregarded the etiquette, and preferred extravagant outfits. For a while, the people followed the queen’s example, adopting gravity-defying hairstyles, and dresses overflowing with material.

That is, until the queen went too far. First, she decided she wanted to wear long white dresses made of cotton, like the peasants did. This frock allowed her to be free in her movements and feel closer to nature. Marie-Antoinette looked less like a queen, and more like a milkmaid, a transgression that was perceived as a betrayal by the people of France. Moreover, the queen was being accused of spending huge sums of money on her clothes, rather than prioritising the well-being of her people. Her defiant fashion-sense led to the kingdom distrusting the foreign queen.

Although Marie-Antoinette is not the only reason that triggered the French revolution — and her extravagant wardrobe not the only reason she was disliked–, her peculiar nature certainly helped nourish distrust in the French monarchy, as she came to symbolize the excesses of royals. Until her very last breath, Marie-Antoinette used clothing as a statement. After the execution of her husband, she asked for a black gown to wear for mourning. When she was taken to the guillotine, she was denied the right to dress as a widow. Instead, Marie-Antoinette chose to wear a white dress. When she was being led in a cart through the streets of Paris to be executed, everyone fell completely silent as they watched the queen go by.

To the end and still today, the iconic Marie-Antoinette continues to fascinate for her ambiguous, controversial and paradoxical character.

Article by Inès Huet

Sources:

Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber

The Queen’s Hair: Marie-Antoinette, Politics, and DNA by Desmond Hosford

Earlier this September, Nike unveiled the campaign for its D/MS/X shoes. The sneakers are as colorful, youthful and bold as their ambassador, the singer Rimon. We talked with the singer-songwriter about music and style.

At 21 years old, Amsterdam-based Rimon is an upcoming artist you should pay attention to. The young woman released her first EP BBYGIRL FOCU$ in November 2018. From soul to hip-hop and electro, she mixes ambiances and emotions. She’s loved streetwear for a long time and is now part of Nike’s D/MS/X campaign.

What is your relationship with streetwear and Nike?

I grew up with streetwear. I kinda was a tomboy back in the days so I loved tracksuits and comfortable clothing. We didn’t have a lot of money in our household when I was young, so I remember very clearly when my mother would purchase me new Nike airforces, once a year. There was a real joy in rocking new kicks the next day at school.

What is the item of clothing or pair of shoes you take everywhere?

I always take a hoodie with me, especially when I’m traveling. Even summers, cause the weather in The Netherlands is pretty unpredictable, and a hoodie always keeps me warm and cozy.

How would you describe your style, both in music and in fashion?

I’d describe it as a mixture of a lot of influences. The way I approach music and fashion is actually very similar, I really tap into every inspiration and influence I’ve encountered and make my own thing out of it. I really love mixing rough with sensual too, same with my music, I love to sing but I love to rap lowkey too, and I try to combine both of worlds cause that’s who I am.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Anything, really… But mostly real-life events and situations, stuff I go through personally or people around me go through. When it comes to fashion and aesthetics, I check Pinterest and have a whole folder on Instagram with a bunch of saved pictures that inspire me. Lately I’ve been researching African tribes a lot and their traditions and clothing.

What were your teen years like? Were you into sports?

I was a real rebel in my teenage years, I loved to provoke and cross limits just to see what would happen. I loved sports! When I attended highschool I was approved to join the ”sports class” which was a special class that focused on people that wanted to focus on sports next to their education. I used to dance and play handball. 

When did you decide to pursue music as a career?

I think I was around 18 when I really got into music and started taking it seriously, I noticed that it was easier due to internet and streaming services to create your own fanbase and just release music, so that’s when I started to see opportunities.

Interview by Juliette Cardinale

Californian brand Patagonia will join youth activists striking for climate action everywhere
on September 20 and 27, 2019. Patagonia stores worldwide will be closed on these two Fridays.

Patagonia is a Californian clothing brand founded in 1973 by accomplished rock climber Yvon Chouinard. The brand sells mountain gear and other outdoor sports clothes, as well as equipment such as backpacks, sleeping bags and camping food. In September 2019, Patagonia is joining the youth movement for climate action lead by Greta Thunberg. On Fridays 20 and 27, stores all around the world will be closed.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2eociuHS7_/

“The climate crisis is a clear and present danger to our health, our pocketbooks and our employees and their families. Like the fake science paid for by tobacco companies that for years denied the link between smoking and cancer, denial and delay on climate is destructive to human life. Enough is enough. We need action,” declared Rose Marcario, the CEO of Patagonia.

From the start, Patagonia has been very aware about sustainable and responsible materials. The brand is paying attention to where materials are produced, and in what conditions. When it was revealed in 2005 by PETA that Patagonia’s wool providers were not treating correctly the animals, the brand changed sources.

A committed company

Patagonia is often taking actions for the climate, from organizing boycotts or giving 100% of Black Friday sales to environmental groups in 2016 to suing the US government and President Donald Trump for reducing the size of national monuments (similar to national parks). Every year, the company gives 1% of its sales to environmental groups through the One Percent for the Planet organization – which was co-founded by Yvon Chouinard. In June 2019, Patagonia announced it would give its $10m tax cuts to groups fighting the climate change crisis.

The company also created a platform called Worn Wear. People can return certain Patagonia merchandise in good condition in exchange for store credit. Then the items are cleaned, repaired and sold through the Worn Wear website.

Article by Juliette Cardinale