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What is ethical fashion?

Preserving the environment and local economic development integrate an approach concerned with the fashion of tomorrow. Social, supportive, environmental, vegan, transparent, made in France… Angarde takes stock with you on the particularities of ethical fashion!

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Ethical fashion: definition

Increasingly establishing itself as a real alternative to fast fashion, ethical fashion aims to offer clothing, shoes or fashion accessories that are as respectful as possible of people, animals and nature.

An ethical fashion brand necessarily faces major choices regarding the materials and manufacturing processes, the production locations and even the workforce to promote. The objectives of this fashion are therefore plural:

  • Limit overconsumption of natural resources;

  • Reduce or prohibit the use of chemicals, which can be both harmful to the environment and consumers;

  • Limit greenhouse gas emissions to limit the brand's carbon impact.

Ethical fashion can defend many values. We can call it eco-responsible fashion, sustainable fashion or even organic fashion: the fact remains that it is sensitive to organic farming and the social aspect of its production methods. Whether it is the working conditions of workers or their remuneration, ethical fashion takes into account numerous criteria to offer quality and responsible products.

Booming, ethical fashion is part of the fair trade approach by favoring transparency and local know-how.


How to recognize an ethical fashion brand?

Ethical fashion demonstrates real social awareness while taking into account current environmental issues. Three main criteria therefore make it possible to recognize it: the materials it uses, the manufacturing conditions of its products and the stages of its production.

To go further, Angarde offers you a whole list of clues that allow you to recognize an ethical fashion brand!


Sustainable fashion

The primary objective of ethical and sustainable fashion is to extend the lifespan of a garment or fashion accessory in order to limit its impact on the environment.

Consequently, it must go through the implementation of concrete actions throughout the production chain, particularly with regard to the choice of raw materials, manufacturing methods, production methods and even the healthy distribution of products. .

A brand selling ethical fashion clothing or accessories frequently combines the following criteria:

  • Eco-responsible manufacturing materials: cotton comes from a flower and polyester comes from petroleum, the choice of a garment's material can easily reveal whether it is eco-responsible... or not at all!

  • A rhythm of low fashion collections: as a general rule, ethical fashion brands produce two to four collections per year, no more.

  • The presence of after-sales service: brands that have after-sales service are likely to repair or recycle the products returned to them, which is typical of ethical fashion.


Eco-responsible, or “eco-friendly” fashion

Ethical and responsible fashion , like many other fashions, strives to use resources to produce their clothing or accessories. However, their resource consumption can be sufficiently limited or controlled to reduce their carbon footprint.

Eco-responsible fashion brings together some of the following points:

  • Sustainable materials: they have a low environmental impact;

  • Labels and certifications that meet the criteria of ethical fashion: GOTS, GRS, OCS, ecocert, Bluesign…

  • Local suppliers, with a small outsourced workforce;

  • After-sales services, proof that returned products are repaired or recycled;

  • Offsetting the carbon impact with responsible actions (planted trees, among others).


Low carbon fashion, or “low impact”

This point goes hand in hand with the one above! Eco-responsible fashion is also, very often, low-carbon fashion . This type of ethical fashion is committed to limiting the impact of its production on the ecosystem as much as possible.

This low-carbon approach can manifest itself in different ways:

  • Support for local and solidarity initiatives;

  • The choice of suppliers favoring natural energies other than gas and coal;

  • Monitoring the harvest calendar to give a rhythm to the collections;

  • Upcycling, this recycling method which allows you to create something new from old material, without having to transform or deconstruct it.

To recognize an ethical and low-carbon fashion brand, you just need to ensure that it is part of a textile valorization approach, that it is labeled Uptrade - Tissu Sauvé or that it offers eco-designed and durable. This list is far from exhaustive, but can help you more easily identify brands that meet the criteria for low-carbon fashion!


Eco-design fashion

Eco-design fashion goes hand in hand with eco-design. It makes it possible to integrate environmental characteristics into the design of a product. In other words: ethical and eco-design fashion is committed to improving the environmental performance of its product throughout its life cycle.

From the design of a garment or a pair of shoes until its end of life, those involved in eco-design fashion ensure all the effects that can be generated by the product on the environment. Subsequently, concrete actions are put in place to propose avenues for improvement and to remedy any difficulties encountered.

The primary objective of eco-design fashion is therefore to reduce and eliminate any negative impact that the production and manufacturing of its products could have on nature.

Eco-design fashion brands frequently check the following criteria:

  • They optimize their use of fabric volume, in particular by using zero waste patterns, by upcycling production scraps, etc.;

  • They use eco-responsible materials or fabrics from textile recovery;

  • They have some of the following labels: SloWeAre, GRS, FSC, Cradle to Cradle (C2C), Uptrade - Tissu Sauvé, etc.;

  • They offer an after-sales service which allows you to take back, repair or recycle used products that are the subject of product returns.


Cruelty-free fashion

Very often, ethical fashion means “cruelty-free” fashion. This term can be literally translated as “cruelty-free”: it refers directly to the fight against animal exploitation.

Cruelty-free fashion is therefore fashion that does without products of animal origin (by prioritizing plant-based and vegan materials) or that takes great interest in the conditions of animal breeding and slaughter.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if a brand meets the “cruelty-free” fashion criteria:

  • What is the origin of the leather used for its products? Is it animal or plant?

  • Does the brand consider itself a vegan brand?

  • Does the brand have specific animal protection labels?

Indeed, several certifications make it possible to distinguish “cruelty-free” fashion from other ethical fashions:

  • The Naturleder label: it ensures that the leather used in its products does not come from wild animals or protected species;

  • The PETA Approved Vegan label: this is a guarantee that the products are not of animal origin and that they have not been tested on animals;

  • The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) label: it ensures control of the breeding conditions of geese and ducks for winter jackets that include linings;

  • The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) label: it is a guarantee of control over the breeding conditions of animals that produce wool;

  • The Responsible Mohair Standard label: it ensures the well-being of goats producing mohair, a natural wool fiber.


4ethical fashion brands in France

1. Angard

How could we not start this list of French ethical fashion brands without talking about our own site?

Angarde is an ethical brand that offers eco-responsible shoes for men, women and children. Our objectives meet various ethical fashion criteria:

  • Our eco-responsible shoes are made in Europe to reduce carbon dioxide emissions;

  • Our return system is free to easily take care of the recycling of our returned products;

  • We are committed to ecology by using mainly recycled materials (plastic bottles, rubber, cotton, etc.) or upcycled (pineapple leaf fibers, etc.) etc.

Incorporating its production into a short and environmentally conscious circuit, Angarde also establishes itself as an ethical fashion brand by having joined the 1% for the Planet collective. This collective allows us to donate 1% of our turnover each year to the Surfrider Foundation Europe, which actively fights against ocean pollution.


2. Sunday runner

Coureur du Dimanche is a brand of clothing and accessories made in France with recycled materials: plastic bottles, cotton scraps, etc. This French ethical fashion brand ensures that each product used to make its clothes and accessories is made in France.

And that's not all ! The brand is committed to an ecological and responsible manner:

  • It seeks to promote local production and manufacturing for unique products representative of French know-how;

  • It ensures the traceability of its products and demonstrates transparency regarding the good working conditions of its teams;

  • It seeks to offer new eco-responsible alternatives to the fashion and textile industry to promote more environmentally conscious design.

Thanks to this sports fashion brand, all running enthusiasts become Sunday runners again whatever their level. A way to reintegrate a beautiful principle of equality for a brand that wants to be committed, both ecologically and socially!


3. Kaipih

Among the various French ethical fashion brands, we find Kaipih, which offers t-shirts, sweatshirts and accessories in an approach that is committed to ecological and environmentally friendly missions.

This ethical fashion brand for men and women brings together several eco-responsible criteria:

  • Its raw material suppliers belong to the Fair Wear Foundation and have eco-responsible certifications: GOTS, OCS, Blended, Oeko-Tex, etc.;

  • Its raw materials favor organic cotton and recycled textiles, and its materials are treated without pesticides;

  • The manufacturing of its products is 100% French: its embroidery workshops are located in Lyon and promote local know-how.

The primary objective of the brand is to promote French employment and know-how. To do this, it offers friendly clothing with careful design and messages showing great positivity. Something to keep you smiling in the morning!


4. Beautiful as a Monday

Founded in 2011 by a French entrepreneur, Beau comme un Lundi is a clothing and accessories company with a bohemian and nomadic style. Its products are handmade in Bali: in this way, each unique piece is a guarantee of quality and perfectly transcribes the ancestral know-how of this island, which has been passed down from generation to generation for several centuries.

Beau comme un Lundi is a brand that meets some ethical fashion criteria:

  • Its work is carried out with respect for suppliers and workers;

  • Its products are all handmade from natural materials.

By combining fashion and eco-responsibility, this brand offers clothing with colorful patterns and a style adapted to everyone's preferences. All you have to do is wear one of their pieces to immerse yourself in a new lifestyle that is both chic and very nomadic. This way, even Mondays feel like Sundays!