Renting, second-hand, auction sales, upcycling, sorting… there are many options available to adopt a more reasonable and responsible consumption of fashion. The challenge of reconciling fashion and commitment is now possible.
You don’t have to be a skilled seamstress or spend hours in luxury consignment stores to embark on the path of eco-responsible fashion. Today, there are plenty of “alternative” offers to traditional circuits! In the eye of the Colibry, here are a few ideas to try and adopt.
Opt for a fashion detox twice a year
Sorting, selling, and donating clothes is a skill that can be learned! A simple gesture that costs nothing, yet can be so difficult to do! What is it about? Twice a year, we rid ourselves of clothes and accessories that we haven’t worn for several months (or several years if the separation is too difficult). In addition to making space in your wardrobe, you’ll come out with a lighter mind! It feels amazing. And promised, you’ll have forgotten the clothes you sorted and donated the next day.
How to proceed? It’s not about quantity but quality. You need to know how to eliminate. The method for sorting clothes: gather all your clothes in one place. Then you may realize that you have 4 black sweaters, 12 jeans, 6 white t-shirts… The goal is to immediately identify all the clothes you no longer want, in addition to those that are worn, torn, too big, too small… and get rid of them. In any case, fashion will have changed, and you’ll want something else.
You should also get rid of all your ant instincts… When in doubt, take the garment in your hand and ask yourself if you would wear it right now? If the answer is yes, keep it. Otherwise, you know what you have to do. If the answer is “I might need it for…” or “the day I lose weight…, it can be useful for…”, go directly to the separation step! A temptation to avoid: don’t keep clothes you no longer want to wear as lounge wear… it only postpones the decision to get rid of them…
Explore clothing rental platforms
Renting a Chanel bag, a Dior dress, a Cartier jewel… it’s now possible! Rental websites are popping up all over the internet and allow you to rent dresses and accessories for 4 days, including delivery and cleaning. An ideal option for those who like to change their wardrobe every season or need to regularly renew their wardrobe for work or outings.
Perfect also for wedding and other ceremonial seasons, it allows you to change outfits without having to invest in one-day outfits. Some even offer to take your wardrobe on deposit for rental.
Some ideas for renting your dream outfit:
- Une robe. Un soir: ideal for finding a Chanel, Dior, St Laurent, Lanvin dress… (rental for 4 days starting from 100 euros). 1robepour1soir.com
- Bagheera: rental of luxury brand bags for a duration of 24 hours to one month starting from 49 euros including courier service and shipping throughout France with UPS. Bagheeracollective.com
- Ski Chic: think about it for next winter, the concept even exists for skiing, a sport where style is of utmost importance. Fusalp, Poivre Blanc, Roxy, Salomon, The North Face… everything you need to shine every season! The bonus: the platform can deliver the outfits directly to the desired ski resort (among 30 proposed in Savoie, Haute-Savoie, and Isère)! ski-chic.com
The trend has never been so pronounced, especially among young generations for whom “vintage” is synonymous with a fashion statement. The dusty image of second-hand is now far behind! There are now online sales platforms, worthy of the most beautiful multi-brand stores, such as the must-see Vestiaire collective, Vide Dressing, Real Real, Collector Square (for jewelry), The Outnet … and for watches, the Watchfinder site will be your best ally.
Initiatives to know:
- Gucci Vault: An online concept store that offers a selection of vintage pieces from the 100 years of the house’s creation, freshly refurbished by Gucci artisans, and customized by the designer himself.
- Maje also offers a second-hand space on its site.
- Galeries Lafayettes have just launched – on the 3rd floor of the Coupole store – the (Re)Store space dedicated to second-hand and responsible fashion, a fashion and lifestyle offer labeled Go for Good*, as well as unprecedented resale and recycling services to give a second life to your old pieces.
- Or the 7ème Ciel at Printemps, a space dedicated to circular fashion under the magnificent dome of the department store. We remain on the lookout because more and more luxury brands are creating spaces on their own site for the sale of their unsold or second-hand items.
And also some addresses in Geneva:
Atelier FH – le soulier engagé: offers restored second-hand shoes. You can find Prada, Roger Vivier, YSL gems, and also more affordable brands. Its founder, Sheherazade Lesueur, a Parisian living in Zurich, has been a second-hand enthusiast since her adolescence and a fervent supporter of sustainable fashion.
Get into sustainable and responsible fashion
Today, sustainability and responsibility can go hand in hand with desirability. There is no shortage of initiatives, from Ralph Lauren’s Earth Polo made from 12 plastic bottles and a manufacturing process that does not consume water, to Slow Fashion labels, handmade products, ethical sneakers from Veja, or Stella McCartney’s collaboration with Adidas, among others, there is something for every taste and budget.
Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- The Net à Porter website’s netsustain platform offers a selection of trendy and highly desirable brands that meet sustainability criteria in fashion, such as circularity, ecological or recycled materials, and local production (pictured below).
- Mister K. offers a stockless production using fabrics recovered from major fashion houses. Timeless models and limited editions are produced according to a reservation system. misterk.fr
- Paris reMade and Reiner are upcycling fashion platforms. A creative, innovative, and committed curation. Paris remade, Reiner
- Ecoalf and Balzac offer chic and ethical collections with low ecological impact, while Circle creates eco-responsible sportswear.
- Pangaia innovates with desirable sportswear collections made from plant-based textiles. Their down jackets are filled with flower down, and their hoodies are made from organic cotton.
- Chloé, a certified B Corp, is also seriously committed to sustainable fashion. Collections are made according to rigorous eco-responsible criteria and created by designer Gabriela Hearst, who is very involved in the subject. For example, the very desirable Nama sneaker is made from 40% recycled materials.
- The pioneering eco-jewelry Maison Rouvenat offers reworked antique pieces, among others.
- Not to mention the top of the line in solidarity and eco-responsible retail: merci-merci.com
Luxury fashion houses are also increasingly committed to maintenance and repair services for lifetime bags, such as Bottega Venetta, Celine, and Loewe.
The case of denim: Jeans are the most worn and sold garment, and the production of their fabric is the most polluting. 1 pair of jeans = 10,000 liters of water = 160 showers, so it’s important to think before changing jeans every season. Today, many labels offer responsible alternatives.
Ideas for inspiration: the sustainable denim models from Seven for all Mankind, the brand anniejeans which offers handcrafted Levi’s jeans in Paris with a lifetime guarantee, or the green brand rrrevolve.
Explore auctions… on or offline!
Less mainstream, auction houses all have accessory, jewelry, and leather goods catalogs with sales often available online. Check out the dedicated sections on Sotheby’s, Christies, and in Geneva, the auction house Piguet to find gems!
And also find vintage treasures on the website moujikparis.com (photo below).
Invest in upcycling: Upgrading your jeans, enhancing your shirt, transforming your scarf…
Upcycling is a generic term, almost a label, for everything related to the second life or reuse of clothing. In essence, it’s about creating something new with something old, with the goal of giving used products a higher quality new life. How can you upcycle these clothes or buy remastered pieces?
Ideas for inspiration:
- Upcycling at home with Everybody-Paris, which alters and brings your dormant wardrobe back to life. Trench coats, jeans, shirts, etc. are creatively updated by changing buttons, twisting a shirt collar, or adding a piece of fabric.
- Launched in 2019, the Reiner platform presents itself as “the world’s first premium online upcycling destination”. The upcycled pieces are sharp (clothing, accessories), created by designers selected for their creative and bold universes. Browsing the site, one can say that the future of sustainable fashion, without compromise on style, is indeed ensured!
- Lonchamp has created its green and re-play foldable bag,
- Rive Droite creates multiple bags, pouches, and cases using textile industry overstocks,
- The Petit H collection from Hermès is made from scraps of materials from the house’s workshops,
- Gucci Continuum is an upcycled collection…
- Listen to the recently launched podcast fashion our future by the Keiring luxury group, available on Apple and Spotify platforms.
- Read Judith Prigent‘s vintage fashion guide.
- Practice this useful method in case of compulsive shopping urges.
1 – Do I need it? 2 – Do I have an immediate use for it? 3 – Do I have something similar that can do the job (to avoid duplicates)? 4 – What is the product’s origin? 5 – Is it useful?
© Stéphanie Ravillon
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