From 6 to 9th of September 2019, Bag Affair participated in the first edition of the tradeshow “IMPACT”, taking place during the biggest fashion show of France “Who’s next”. This first edition had to focus on fair and sustainable fashion – an experience report:
A lady in her early thirties stopped short as she was quickly walking through the hall where Bag Affair was exhibiting at Impact Who’s Next.
Taiseer was observing her from a couple of meters just opposite the Bag Affair stand, and then she approached to greet her. She turned to Taiseer smiling and quickly said “I recognise myself in your brand”. Taiseer was not expecting this for a greeting.
“I read “carry your dreams”, and it is so well thought”, she continued.
Taiseer asked her, “in what way?”
She quickly answers, “That we should dream big and work towards our ambitions, and how a bag is a tool to get there”.
For a second Taiseer was speechless.
Here is a beautiful French young lady, who’s English is maybe not perfect, yet clearly understood Bag Affair’s brand purpose in a split of a second. Not only that, but also projected herself into the bags.
This is one of the many positive encounters we had during our exhibition at IMPACT Who’s Next, the first space dedicated for ethical fashion by Who’s Next. We did choose to participate at the fair for several reasons:
- Who’s Next is known as the most important fashion event for fashion boutiques
- IMPACT is the first dedicated space for sustainable fashion organised under Who’s Next, a major fashion institution
- Bag Affair as the first French sustainable handbags brands dedicated to business bags for women, would be in the right space as a trend leader in the handbags sector
- Paris is the fashion capital of the world, clients from Europe and Asia seek trends in Paris, and what better trend than one that respects humans and the planet?
The topics that weave the rising demands of green fashion were covered by thematic talks during the four days of the show. Here is a link to see all the topics in detail.
Thomas Ébélé from SloWeAre moderated a panel about “why consumers want more transparency” on Sunday. Guest in the talk have been: Catherine Dauriac – Directeur of Fashion Revolution France, Cindy Durdan CSR & Supply Chain Manager at Ekyog, Hélène Lucas who is the Communications Director of the shoe brand Panafrica, as well as Marie Demaegt being Project Manager Creation & Innovation at CELC/ Masters of Linen and Yasmine AUQUIER, Directeur general Rive Droite Paris. An interesting remark made by the Catherine Dauriac from Fashion Revolution France, was whether boycotting fast fashion brands could be the right answer or accompanying them to adopt a more sustainable operations would be better. This debate, in our opinion, deserves a full dedicated blog on its own – if you want to read more check out our blog on sustainable fashion.
As a SloWeAre audited brand, Bag Affair was present with 9 other young fashion labels from different categories:
Aatise – Ethical fashion made in France. Aatise offers clothes for him and for her- made in France with perfect transparency. An interesting part of the designs is the possibility that you can be part of the designing process. Every Tuesday you find on their Instagram the possibility to vote for new lines and like this create new models with their community.
Muse and Marlowe – The sustainable feminine wardrobe. Muse and Marlowe does produce in France with GOTS certified materials, ships to you in recycled materials and even the hang tag has some seeds inside so that you can actually plant it. Sustainable and creative!
Antagony – Unisex fashion in a lifestyle spirit. Antagony shows that unisex fashion can be sustainable and look good in an office look as well as casual. If you want to create a capsule wardrobe you will find here perfect pieces as well as fashionable highlights.
Atelier Unes – Show your femininity is their slogan. Atelier Unes wants to highlight your look with special cuts and designs- all made ethically. Materials are chosen carefully, attention is paid to details, and all for you. They create based on surveys with their consumers and assure like this that their pieces are adopted quickly.
Au juste – Clothes 100% recycled and 100% made in France for men and women. Did you know that wool can be recycled? – if not check out au juste and learn more about their production process to make something new out of recycled materials.
Upcycling for kids
Second Sew – Kids clothes made of recycled materials. Second Sew does not throw away but reuse and this in a very cute way. Old clothes and tissues are transformed into baby and kids clothes- high quality and at the same time unique. If you are a mum or dad, aunt or uncle you must see what they are doing!
Olly – Bras and panties of organic cotton. Olly lingerie provides you comfortable, yet perfect looking underwear for women. Their bras and bottoms are ethically made and you can be sure that you will feel comfortable in them.
Gayaskin – Sport clothes yes, but ethically. Gayaskin uses 100% recycled PET fibres for their sportswear for women. All products from leggings to sports-bra are made in Europe and if your order online they come ethically packed and ship with zero carbon.
WIWI – old tires make new shoes. Wiwi is the king of upcycling while helping local tribes in Indonesia. The shoes are made with unused tires for the sole and all sales are helping a charity organization to feed and educate locals at the same time.
Our feedback of the first edition of IMPACT:
Putting together this first fair in Paris means that the French fashion industry is listening. Even if things are not changing fast enough as we’d like them to, this bottom up movement can be clearly felt. The challenge that follows is differentiating authentic practices from marketing gimmicks, or worse, greenwashing efforts by fast fashion labels, or inviting them to preach about sustainability.
We are waiting for a second edition and would be happy to meet you there- follow us for updates of upcoming events and shows!