Top 5 Ethical Fashion Stores in Paris
If fashion isn’t one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of Paris, then there is still a thing or two you need to learn! After Milan, Paris is considered one of the main fashion hubs of Europe.
Paris is the homeland of many of the biggest names in the fashion world as we know it. Saint Laurent and Chanel are amongst the most famous, their creators being Parisian locals.
Whether you’re after the crème de la crème of the high-end brands in the 1st arrondissement, or the vintage stores that litter the streets of the 4th — Paris has something fashion friendly for everyone.
Something that the bigger Parisian fashion brands have been slow on the uptake with is the concept of ethical fashion. We are seeing this trend more widely spread through the smaller, independent fashion labels of Paris.
The movement amongst these brands is one of social responsibility. Fashion makers are demanding that both designers and consumers become more and more informed about the impact that the industry has on the world and ways in which they can make changes for the better.
A fashion label is able to identify as ethical through a variety of factors. Firstly, any brand that makes use of sustainably sourced materials for their production would automatically fall under the ethical sector.
By sourcing materials that are less harmful to the environment, fashion brands are able to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. I don’t need to explain why this is highly beneficial to the planet.
Another form of being considering “ethical fashion” would be any brand that incorporates significantly better working conditions for their manufacturing process. Far too many of the big names in fashion make use of sweat shops and underpaid labor to mass produce items for resale.
Ethical fashion seeks to avoid this. They create acceptable working conditions for all involved and offer competitive pay along with benefits. This changes the world in an unfathomable way — making the workplace safe for all.
Finally, any fashion brand that features a “vegan” range could quality as ethical based. Most clothing and shoes make use of materials such as leather and wool in order to be produced. A vegan range would be clothing and accessories made entirely cruelty free, from all natural products.
Vegan fashion is gaining popularity fast, with many Paris based brands at the forefront of the movement. It is not cheap to make, but providing a competitive product for the consumer seems to make the price irrelevant.
Ethical fashion is something I am passionate about. Today I’ll be introducing you to five ethical fashion stores in Paris that are so worth supporting if you are in the position to do so. Let’s change the world!
1. VEJA in Paris
22 Rue Yves Toudic
VEJA was founded in 2005 with the intention of being a transparent and socially responsible shoe and accessory brand. There is little that this label won’t tell you when it comes to their sourcing, production and retail.
Their headquarters is in Paris and their flagship store can be found in Port St Martin over in the 10th arrondissement. For shopping convenience they also have a a few other stores located in popular retail spots in Paris.
In fact, VEJA also now has 150 other stores worldwide due to their ever gaining popularity amongst ethical fashion lovers.
VEJA’s main concern was centered around being a brand that refused to choose between design and responsibility. They choose both.
Particularly with sneakers, too many big name brands neglect social responsibility during production because the designs simply require certain facets. VEJA disagrees, and seeks to obtain the best possible design while still remaining ethically in tact.
The best part about VEJA has to be their up cycling process. Up cycling is the art of taking previously discarded matter, intended for waste, and transforming it into something new and beautiful.
The mesh on their sneakers, for example, is made entirely out of left over corn matter from the food industry. Apart from being incredibly impressive, this also means that their products are biodegradable. This means less waste in future when items fall out of fashion or need to be discarded.
I should mention that apart from being ethically mind blowing, VEJA fashion is also very, very cool. Their vegan Campo sneakers are my favorite!
2. Ambrym in Paris
22 Rue des Vinaigriers
A few years ago Ambrym made its way onto the Parisian fashion scene as a fusion between three destinations; Paris, Rio and New York. The concept was a coming together of cultures under a uniform urban, tribal collection.
The Ambrym store is located in the low end of the 10th arrondissement, just a short walk from the Natural History Museum.
There is much to see in this part of town and a free guided walking tour will take you right through the centre of the excitement. Consider visiting both the museum and Ambrym at some point on your walk.
Amrbym is produced solely in France in a small, independently run workshop. This ensures that the brand is free of the pressures of mass production. Each garment comes standard with a handmade card stating the date and time of its production for further verification.
To make things better, absolutely all of their materials are of organic origin and sustainably sourced.
Ambrym is a creative brand that is also collaborative with local artists and designers between range production. To put it mildly, the pieces are whimsical yet wild. They embody the class of Parisian fashion but with a definite tribal flair of the more indigenous nature of South America.
I would recommend this brand for the more creative and expressive souls who like to wear their creativity on their person. Much of their fashion would be considered statement pieces and you defiantly won’t blend into the crowd with these.
If you are not able to stop by the store in person then Ambrym has an online shop that is easy to use from anywhere in the world.
3. 1083 in Paris
114 Rue de Turenne
This ethical fashion list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t look at at least one ethical denim brand that could be worth hanging up our designer jeans for.
1083 is in the heart of the 3rd arrondissement not far from the National Picasso Museum which I very highly recommend to anyone visiting Paris. Although the brand is known for their jeans, they are also manufacturers of multiple ranges of vests, tshirts, shorts and accessories.
They make it onto this line up, however, solely because of their denim ranges. 1083 only uses 100% organic certified cotton in the production of their garments. The items are designed, spun, dyed and sewn exclusively in Paris.
You may be wondering why exactly making use of organic cotton would benefit the planet. The reason is that cotton is grown and then picked for use. Growing any kind of crop is difficult because of the forces of nature at play that seek to get involved in the cycles.
Very often the farming process for cotton requires use of excessive pesticides to ensure that creatures do not disrupt the process too much. Pesticides do more than just stop invasions, they enter the air and pollute the Earth to a noticeable degree.
Fashion brands that take the initiative to completely avoid use of any materials that had pesticides involved in their production is a big deal. Over time this will significantly lessen the environmental effect that these chemicals have on our planet as well as in the lungs that breathe them in; aka, you and me!
We owe thanks to brands such as 1083 for making the changes that really do impact us all. If you’re ever in the 3rd and in need of some comfy new jeans then pay them a visit. The store staff are also incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about the products — you’ll feel right at home!
4. Picture Organic Clothing in Paris
Few things get me as excited as recycling! Ethical fashion made from recycled materials would have to be one of them.
Despite being a Parisian based brand, there is no physical Picture Organic Clothing store in Paris itself; all orders need to be placed online and will be delivered to you.
Picture Organic Clothing’s main focus is fashion that is both stylish and incredibly warm for the colder seasons in Europe. Think ski-wear, snowboarding gear and winter hiking outfits!
The fashion line was created by three best friends who wanted to take conservation of the environment into their own hands. It is something that all three have remained passionate about for as long as they could remember, and it became vital that their business venture be centered around it.
In attempt to not add to the demand for fabrics, the team sought to source all discarded garments from as many avenues as possible. They then made use of these once loved pieces to recycle and remake into brand new fashion items — magnifique!
Incredibly, Picture Organic Clothing also takes 50 plastic bottles per jacket and recycles them to make the fibers of the garment.
For the parts of the clothing that weren’t able to be recycle sourced, they make use of organic cotton through fair-trade contracts based around the world. The brand is giving back as much as it is taking, which is both rare and impressive.
The thing I love most about this brand is their lifelong performance guarantee. The creators wanted to be part of a brand that made clothing that withstood the test of time. They wanted to avoid individuals having to discard items when they began to wear and tear, or buy a new one every time an imperfection was found.
To fix this, you can send in any purchase of Picture Organic Clothing at any time and they will repair it for you, whether still under warranty or not.
5. Hopaal in Paris
Another recycled brand to really make my day (and yours, hopefully); Hopaal is a relatively new name on the scene and are making waves in the ethical fashion community.
Founded in 2016, Hopaal is the brainchild of six passionate individuals who wanted to preserve the things most important to them: man and the planet.
What I love about Hopaal is that they create all the fashion basics that we’ve come to know and love (and require) but with an ethical twist. Everything is up cycled or recycled and when they have to source material it is one hundred percent sustainable.
The brand does not compromise in the production of their clothing. Everything is done with the environment in mind, and if they environment might suffer, then the clothing is rather not done. It’s that simple.
Hopaal goes as far as to pay additional living wages to anyone involved in the production of their garments. I can’t imagine you need any more convincing to support such a heartwarming cause.
For all the basics under the sun, look to Hopaal. Their clothing is especially apt for a vacation around Paris as it is so easy to wear and style. Enjoy walking the city streets in your new ethical clothing (Read more about Discover walking tours).
When it comes to fashion, Paris is pretty much always the the forefront of things. I am please that this eagerness has extended into the ethical sector as well!
If ethical fashion is new on your own radar, continue to learn and explore it wherever possible. If not in Paris, then somewhere in the world. It is well worth all of our time and money — for the betterment of the planet, naturellement!
Let’s go shopping!