Bonjour! Nous sommes allés à Paris (that means we went to Paris, in French). Well, Green Is The New Black co-founder Paula Miquelis did, and while she was there she did a lot more than just eat croissants and drink wine—she stumbled upon a couple of super chic conscious brands and almost overnight things changed for Green Is The New Black. Within days, she found two models and secured photographer Jeremy Benkimoun, and curated an impromptu photoshoot with pieces from these brands.
Why? We can’t tell you just yet, but we will soon (hint: start practising your French). For now, pour yourself a glass of wine, put on the Amélie soundtrack and maybe a red beret if you have one lying around, and get on our (very French) vibe. What do you think?
It was a good summer. It was one that was full of travel, sunshine and lots of French wine. But it was also full of even more learning and inspiration everywhere. Stephanie and I had just got back from our Arctic expedition in June, and I travelled from Norway to France, where I had the chance to spend the entire summer at home in the southwest of France (where I grew up).
It was also a great occasion to head to Paris — a city I have a wild love affair with after spending five years of my life there as a student. This time, however, I saw it through the green lens and spent time exploring the numerous conscious brands, second-hand vintage stores, zero-waste restaurants, organic supermarkets, and vegan festivals that had unfurled since I left for Asia. It was a summer to remember, and one which I hope will inspire you for when you’ll visit the city of lights yourself. Or do we say the city of love? Either way, it works.
If anyone knows fashion, it’s the French. And if anyone knows sustainability, it’s me. So I quite literally threw together a photoshoot together with Jeremy Benkimoun, a French photographer based in Tokyo who only shoots with an argentic camera (what the French like to call non-digital photography). This leaves no room for error—one click, and you only see the results once the film will is developed. We loved the challenge and absolutely adored the photoshoot.
The shoot happened to be in a lovely house full of old treasures, lots of light and a beautiful garden. We worked with two non-professional models, including an aspiring conscious fashion designer named Anne, and Romain Martin, a successful social entrepreneur who founded MURFY. He and his team of 40 are on a mission to reduce electronic waste by optimising the reparation of machines like washing machines and dishwashers, which 90% of the time can be repaired. His company is a true social enterprise aligning with the ideas of a circular economy and principles of degrowth. Anyway, we’re not here to talk about machines; this is about green fashion and lifestyle destinations. Feast your eyes upon some of the coolest conscious brands in France…
Olly creates the perfect underwear: healthy, eco-friendly and very pretty panties. To do this, they imagined the lingerie of their dreams: pretty, comfortable and above all, eco-responsible so they don’t destroy the planet. They are for every woman who wishes to consume better without having to compromise on style. What more can you ask for?
Connect with Olly Lingerie
Hopaal is a swimwear brand started in the southwest of France that’s inspired by the days of surfing and sun-dyed hair. Sitting close to the Spanish border, the region is magical—but is also hugely impacted by ocean plastic. For this reason, Hopaal’s founders imagined a swimsuit made out of recycled plastic bottles. The pieces are made in Portugal, which is less than 1,000km from their design studio and shop in Biarritz, for men and women. When buying, you can also opt for reusable packaging, which you can resend thereafter at no extra cost by simply putting in the mailbox. The goods are also packed using recycled cardboard.
Connect with Hopaal
Contemporary vintage pieces that are unique and meticulously handpicked around the world, but mostly in Paris where they are hand-delivered to customers. The style of the pieces pays homage to the 90s and are a far cry from the Parisian and romantic styles of most second-hand shops in Paris. Of course, the brand ships internationally as well so you can get in Asia no problemo.
Connect with Ultraviolet
Fair-made ethnic sneakers for her and him. Although the brand is French, the shoes are made (sustainably) in Vietnam and give back to the communities that made them. The brand embraces the traditional know-how of Vietnamese artisans from ethnic minorities and builds elementary schools in the poorest provinces of North Vietnam. Right down to the packaging and bow, not a single trace of single-use plastic is found.
Connect with N’go Shoes
Perús is a Parisian sneaker brand that merges Peruvian traditional expertise and authenticity with urban elegance. The shoes are made in Peru by local communities that utilize traditional patterns. For each pair of sneakers sold, one day of school is funded for a child in an underprivileged suburb of Cusco.
Connect with Perús Shoes
Boys, we’ve got you too. This made in France brand makes organic skincare products for men that come in recycled packaging at pocket-friendly prices (even though it’s a GQ vetted brand). The texture has been described as being luscious by many and let’s not even start about the smell. The quality of these products is echoed across the aesthetic and is something you’ll be proud to display out in the open on your toiletry shelf.
Connect with Bivouak
We serendipitously stumbled upon Monsieur Arsène’s founder randomly at a fair and his deep-seated passion for the products he made was not lost on us—he without a doubt inherited a know-how in the excellence of French cosmetics. He makes bio-vegan skincare and perfumes for men that are unique, powerful and totally innovative. The fragrances are made from 90% natural ingredients, which is rare for the perfume industry. The brand is also founded upon the basis of an eco-responsible and ethical business model.
Connect with Monsieur Arsène
Dress: Tove and Libra, Top: UltraViolet
Tove and Libra
This Hong Kong-based brand also made its way into the shoot with some beautiful pieces. The mindful brand looks to help its customers achieve a small, streamlined, and sustainable wardrobe while still staying styled for whatever life throws your way. Its capsule collections feature simple yet effortlessly chic essentials, that mix and match easily with each other, and with pieces that came before.
Connect with Tove and Libra
Photos via Jeremy Benkimoun