Mar 20th, 2018, 02:07 PM

Shopping green in Paris

By Dorothea Mursch-Edlmayr
Image Credit: Centre Commercial
The best spots for an ethical shopping experience in a city of luxury.

Carrie Bradshaw decides in the end of season six of the cult series Sex and the City to leave her beloved New York City to live with her boyfriend Aleksandr Petrovsky in Paris. Bradshaw embodies the lifestyle of a 30-something fashionista New Yorker. Every viewer of the show dreams of a life full of writing in a chic Manhattan apartment, drinking cosmopolitans while having fancy dinner with the ‘girls’, meanwhile, always remaining on the search for love wearing incredible shoes – preferably by Blahnik or Louboutin.

The American girl in Paris does exactly what one would expect from her on a trip to the city of lights … and fashion: eating pastries and shopping – and who could blame her?

Carrie has no lack of things to do in Europe’s Mecca of luxury clothes. Fans of the show will remember her unpleasant fall at the Dior boutique at the avenue Montagne, resulting in an overload of purchases to cover up the incident. It's safe to say Miss Bradshaw stayed in the golden triangle in the 8th arrondissement, home to all things luxury – avenue George V, avenue Champs-Élysées and avenue Montaigne.

Something of a similar nature probably happens often to visitors in Paris, although I doubt that ordinary people use their credit cards as easily as the TV-fashionista does, resulting in window-shopping: if you enter the holy halls of Chanel, Dior or Louis Vuitton just make sure not to slip, otherwise you need a lot of money to buy back your pride.

Somebody should have told Mrs. Bradshaw that Paris has much more to offer when it comes to fashion. Although we love “les grandes maisons de couture” one can easily explore fashion “à la parisienne” far away from those classic haute couture labels. As for the best part: many brands and boutiques in the fashion capital work with an ethical approach in mind.

Let me introduce to you some of my favorite fashion hot spots where you can purchases your clothes with a good conscience while in Paris.

Image Credit: Ekyog Website

Let’s start in the heart of the Marais in the 4th arrondissement at Ekyog. The French brand was founded in 2003 with the mission of creating ethical fashion in a respectful way for the environment and the people. The brands’ manifesto is “look good, feel good, do good”. Ekyog uses natural, organic and recycled fabrics ensuring a proper work ethic and environmental-friendly practices. The clothes are feminine, with a playful twist and elegant simplicity all in the range of natural colors. You can stop by at one of the three boutiques in Paris or visit the online shop.

Website: / Addresses: 23 rue des Francs Bourgeois 75004 Paris, 1 rue Montmartre 75001 Paris, 33 rue Beaurepaire 75010 Paris

The next stop is Sessùn: what can be described as an urban, casual and contemporary fashion brand. Emma Francois founded the brand in 1996 in Marseille with the aim of ensuring a keen way of producing in a fair and intelligent manner. 60% of the garments are created and woven in Europe, mainly France and Italy. In a limited degree, the production processes are de-localized to different areas in the world in order to collaborate with craftspeople that have unique skills and share the same ethical approach as the label. Fans of Isabel Marant and APC will love this brand.

Website: / Addresses: 6 rue Pont aux Choux 75003 Paris, 34 rue de Charonne 75011 Paris, 63 rue des Saints Pères 75006 Paris

Image Credit: Sessùn Website

We’ll continue cool and hip(ster) at Centre Commercial in the 10th arrondissement, close to the Canal St. Martin. In 2004 Sébastien Kopp and François Morillion founded the ethical Sneaker brand Veja in Paris and decided a few years later to open up a store, declared as an overall creative space. The promise of this concept store is transparency in the production offering a wide range of womens and menswear (the boutique in rue Yves Toudic is dedicated to kids). It's great place to shop with a sustainable and socially based approach. Besides the opportunity to dig in a selection of ethical clothes, the store is used as a book signing place, meeting room, a space for workshops, after work events and so on.

Website: / Addresses: 2 rue de Marseille 75010 Paris, 22 rue Yves Toudic 75010 Paris, 9 rue Madame 75006 Paris

At Centre Commercial, you might have found some pieces by French designer Valentine Gauthier. Her boutique is on the Boulevard Beaumarchais, the big street between Place de la Republique and Place de la Bastille. Originally from Marseille Gauthier founded her namesake label in 2007 after gaining work experiences at Rochas and Maison Martin Margiela. The designer uses organic fabrics and produces the clothes in the country of the fabric, highly collaborating with NGOs in developing areas. Her collections are modern eco-friendly fashion with urban and contemporary elements.

Website: / Address: 88 boulevard Beaumarchais, 75011 Paris

Image Credit: Valentine Gauthier Website

To conclude our ethical shopping experience mildly à la Carrie Bradshaw, be sure to visit L'Appartement Sézane in the 2nd arrondissement. This space is pure chic. Besides the shopping experience, a cinema, a library and a café invite you to stay a little longer. Morgane Sezalory founded her brand in 2013 as an online store, apparently the first French label to do so, before she opened her L‘Appartement Sézane. The brand highly values the production of its collections collaborating with carefully selected partners and natural fabrics with knowledge about its origins. Additionally, the brand initiates several projects for charity, focusing on children. Sézane is vintage-inspired, easy to wear and with a feminine coolness.

Website: / Address: 1 Rue Saint-Fiacre, 75002 Paris

Image Credit: Sézane Website

What are you still doing here? – Grab your bag and do what one can do best in Paris besides eating croissants or macarons – explore this fashionable city: but this time, in a green manner! Always keep in mind that the goal of ethical shopping is to buy in a socially responsible way, respecting and valuing the people who make our clothes and the environment: this results in overall conscious consumption – so follow the credo: buy less, but better.