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Letter from the founders

2018 – what a year!

This is the year when Clothèque was created and we began our mission of connecting sustainable consumption and fashion by our renting model in a Scandinavian style.

We are creating a new fashion future, which is fun, exciting, and most importantly : sustainable.  

We want to thank so much our partners, who are making this all possible. We are convinced that our partnering brands are the true precursors of the sustainable fashion future.

Merci à Sandqvist, Busnel, Lumi, Katri Niskanen, Emma Simons, Aéryne and our most recent partner just in time for the New Year, Anna Ruohonen. The innovative thinking, belief in creating a sustainable fashion future and their beautiful collections that are available for rent at Clothèque has set the foundation for our company.

We created Clothèque because we identified a need that had to be addressed ; a need to change the way we consume fashion.
By renting you don’t  have to compromise the way how you dress and express yourself while being sustainable.

A look back at the year leaves us with great memories such as the successful launching evening during Paris Fashion Week, with Katri Niskanen and Emma Simons showcasing their collections.

We have met inspiring and incredible people engaged in a sustainable style and living, fantastic designers and creators and people passionate about the sustainable fashion revolution.

This year has been an incredible year and the official start for Clothèque. However, it is only the beginning. We are thrilled to welcome 2019 with open arms with all of its challenges and opportunities, with taking fashion and the sharing economy to new levels and expanding the Clothèque community.

Happy New Year!

 Erica & Oda

 

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The Great Big Black Friday

We all love a good deal, and yes Black Friday is all about those. This mass consumption day that’s has turned into a weekend and now an entire week if we include the cyber Monday shopping days. It has become a real phenomenon, don’t you think?

Buy, shop, consume, get this and buy some more! Everything on sale, all these things you wouldn’t buy normally but now because you think it’s a great deal… you’ll buy it. Is this really what make us feel good?

I am not going to lie – I absolutely LOVE a great deal! Don’t we all? During my time in the US I had my fair share of Black Fridays and yes, I still remember that exciting thrill of being one of the firsts to score that flat screen TV for only 99 bucks. Or that Michael Kors wallet that was on 70 % sale. You feel like you accomplished something by getting that deal. It feels like you tricked the system or won the lottery. A feeling of some sort of weird success.

Does this great feeling last longer than a couple days?

Was it a really good deal after all?

It has come into light that many companies are not even offering real deals,  but so called fake- promotions! That amazing catch you think you did, actually turned out to be a scam by  the shop that raised the price a month before just to drop it down to the normal price, give or take a few bucks, right in time for the Great Big Black Friday.

Then we have The Anti Black Friday initiative, Green Friday, This is a concept that exists since a few years back as a movement against the consumption hysteria that we have adopted for the Black Friday.
Companies and organizations are encouraging people to not consume or to consume better on Black Friday. Some even close their stores during this day and other organize workshops and conferences around sustainable solutions and consumptions. Most companies in France that participates in Green Friday donates 10-15% of their profit to a zero waste organization such as HOP (Halte à l’obsolescence programmée).

I believe that there should be an in between of these two options. Consuming on Black Friday just for the fact of consuming? Absolutely not.
Not consuming at all, repairing and recycling items? Sounds fantastic, but for some people this still seems like a big step to take even though we have seen amazing progress in this area during the last couple of years.

My suggestion : Green Weekend.

We do not need one day to go all out crazy and spread money  around us because we can. We do not need a certain marketing campaign or global societal encouragement to consume. What we also do not need is a bad conscious about wanting to score a good deal.

This is why Clothèque decided to combine the both and offer you the Green Weekend!
Try renting instead of buying. We shouldn’t be deprived of a good deal when there exists in between solutions for those that love to shop but also to be sustainable!

Happy Green Friday,

Erica from Clothèque

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Ne plus acheter de vêtements neufs jusqu’à la fin de l’année! Le défi de Constance

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Clothèque a rencontré Constance, qui nous raconte son challenge extraordinaire! Voici son histoire:

Je m’appelle Constance, j’ai 25 ans et en juillet, je me suis lancé le défi de ne plus acheter de vêtements neufs jusqu’à la fin de l’année. « Mais pourquoi tu fais ça ?? » Voilà ce que j’entends quasiment à chaque fois que je l’annonce à quelqu’un. Oui, c’est vrai, pourquoi je fais ça ? Pour économiser de l’argent ? Par conviction écologique ? Parce que la mode ne m’intéresse plus ou justement parce que je veux un style unique ? Laissez-moi vous expliquer plutôt…

A 20 ans, comme beaucoup de filles, je ne jurais que par les blogs de mode et les soldes chez Zara et consorts. Mais avec les années, mon côté fashionista s’est mis en sommeil, d’abord pour des raisons financières (il faut dire qu’à cette période je vivais en Suisse et que là-bas, même H&M est une boutique de luxe). Puis l’année dernière, c’est le déclic. J’ai fini mes études et comme toute personne fraîchement diplômée, je compte rapatrier toutes mes affaires bien au chaud dans le garage de mes parents. C’est alors que ma mère, préparant de grands travaux dans la maison, me demande de faire le méga tri de la mort qui tue pour ne garder que le minimum, c’est-à-dire une grosse valise et quelques caisses pour caser « toute ma vie ». C’est d’abord difficile, puis je réalise que je n’ai pas porté certains vêtements depuis tellement longtemps que je les ai oubliés. Je remplis lentement des sacs et encore des sacs. C’est l’occasion de dire au revoir à cette chemise que je ne porte plus depuis 5 ans, à cette jupe dorée que je n’ai mise qu’une fois, à ce débardeur acheté 7 euros et immettable depuis le 2e lavage… Et surtout de faire le tri dans les 52 paires de chaussettes accumulées ces dernières années…!

“Je réalise peu à peu qu’il serait totalement absurde de garder tous ces vêtements.”

Quelques mois plus tard, quand j’arrive à Paris dans mon nouvel appartement, je suis très fière de n’avoir qu’une petite valise et un sac de voyage. Et encore plus fière d’avoir une grande armoire à moitié vide, malgré les gentilles moqueries que cela peut provoquer chez mes copines (et même chez mon copain…). Je me sens légère : finalement, je n’ai pas besoin d’une armoire débordant de vêtements pour être bien dans mes baskets (oui j’ai osé faire cette blague).

A ce moment-là, j’achète beaucoup moins de vêtements, je ne vais quasiment jamais faire les boutiques et j’essaie de garder dans mon armoire ce vide qui m’est si agréable. Mais il faut bien avouer que ce n’est pas toujours simple. J’aime les vêtements, j’aime porter une belle pièce, j’adore m’entendre dire « trop belle ta nouvelle veste », « trop cool tes nouvelles bottines » et puis de toute façon, il faut bien renouveler sa garde-robe de temps en temps.

“C’est là qu’entre en jeu mon deuxième déclic : l’écologie”.

Il m’est en effet de plus en plus difficile d’assumer ma contribution à la fast-fashion alors qu’en parallèle j’évolue vers un mode de vie de plus en plus écologique. Car il s’avère que l’industrie de la mode est l’une des industries les plus polluantes. Elle émettrait plus de gaz à effet de serre que les compagnies aériennes, les micro-fibres des vêtements seraient responsables d’une grande partie de la pollution des rivières et des océans etc. etc. j’en passe et des meilleures… Même si j’achète de toute façon peu de vêtements, j’ai envie d’aller encore plus loin. C’est pourquoi en juillet je décide de me lancer un défi qui me permettra de concilier mon mode de vie écologique et plutôt minimaliste avec mes pulsions de modeuse.

Ce défi : à partir du 1er juillet, je décide de ne plus acheter de vêtements neufs jusqu’à la fin de l’année. Les règles sont simples : je n’ai droit d’acheter que du seconde main, provenant de friperies ou de plateformes comme Vide Dressing, ou encore mieux, de récupérer des vêtements du placard d’une copine (ou de mon copain !). Je ne suis pas une grande adepte du vintage mais les quelques pièces que j’ai acquises ces dernières années ont toujours été des très bons choix, j’ai donc envie d’explorer plus à fond cette solution. (Je tiens à préciser que je m’autorise à acheter neufs les sous-vêtements et les affaires de sport, quand même, il y a des limites !)

Au bout de 4 mois sans aucune difficulté (et finalement seulement UNE chemise achetée, en friperie bien sûr) arrive une grosse étape, que j’appréhende depuis le début du challenge : trouver des nouvelles baskets. J’ai absolument besoin d’une nouvelle paire et j’avoue que je suis un peu réticente à l’idée de porter des chaussures imprégnées par l’odeur de pieds d’une inconnue… Ma première idée est de me tourner vers une paire de Veja, marque éthique et durable, je me dis que ce n’est pas vraiment dans les règles que je me suis fixée mais bon, c’est écolo au moins. Je lorgne longtemps sur une paire magnifique mais à tout de même 165 euros… Le prix me pousse finalement à regarder d’autres options. C’est alors que je décide de télécharger Vinted. Et ma vie a changé (ou presque). Je découvre la fabuleuse option « Neuf avec/sans étiquette » et réalise que pour 80 euros, je peux m’offrir DEUX paires de baskets de marque et neuves. Je suis si fière quand j’ouvre mes paquets et que je découvre des chaussures en parfait état. J’ai fait l’affaire du siècle, tout en respectant mon challenge et en aidant à protéger la planète. YES !

Aujourd’hui, il me reste deux mois avant la fin de mon défi et cela ne me fait absolument pas peur. Acheter un vêtement d’occasion est devenu comme un jeu et finalement, avec les nombreux magasins de seconde main et Vinted, je trouve mon bonheur presque aussi facilement qu’avant. L’année prochaine, je compte continuer à acheter d’occasion le plus possible. Certains achats seront plus compliqués que d’autres, comme celui d’un jean, mais je prendrai le temps d’étudier les différentes solutions. Si je ne trouve pas en seconde main, je me tournerai vers des vêtements neufs mais avec une préférence pour les marques durables et/ou made in France. Et pour certaines occasions, par exemple un mariage, je ne ferai plus l’erreur d’acheter une de ces robes incroyables que je n’arriverai jamais à remettre (vous savez, celle que vous adorez, vous a coûté un bras et vous fait dire chaque matin « ah si seulement un jour j’étais invitée à une soirée chic pour la remettre »).

“Alors pourquoi pas me tourner vers la location ? Je ne l’ai jamais fait mais l’idée est vraiment séduisante. Les stars de cinéma le font, alors pourquoi pas nous ? Je ne vois pas meilleur moyen pour se sentir telle Marion Cotillard : belle et stylée, tout en restant écolo “!

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A breakdown of sustainable fashion

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We are all becoming more conscious about the choices we make as consumers as well as the choices we make when we go shopping. We take into consideration the impact this has on the environment and the people and animals that are involved in the entire production chain.

We all want to to good for the people and the environment, but we also obviously want to look good! It almost goes without mentioning, but  we want to be able to feel good about the clothes we are wearing while having a good conscience about it. Then on the other hand, we do not want to compromise on our way of dressing and expressing ourselves via fashion.

It is a mistake to make people feel guilty about not consuming like this, buying only these exact products etc… making sustainable choices should be fun, easy, natural and exciting – and moreover without having to compromise your style!

However, it is also easy to get a little lost in all of the vocabulary that we are surrounded by today ranging from buzzwords to corporate lies and double meanings…

We hear terms such as sustainable fashion, green fashion, eco fashion, slow fashion, ethical fashion, circular fashion… the list is starting to become pretty long. So what does these terms actually mean?

Here is a little break down of how we see things!

There is no official definition of sustainable fashion but we all know that it has something to do with conscious choices that are better for the environment and the people involved in the production chain.

Sustainable fashion is according to us, how we consume fashion in a way that is meant to last and is drawing parallels with other sustainable development actions. This is the opposite of fast fashion, where collections are as disposable as anything can be. Fast fashion, as the name indicates, is implying on something that is expendable.

Sustainable fashion can also refer to the superior quality of the clothes. Think of items that you take care of and use for years that still look like they were brand new. In an ideal world, long lasting clothes would mean less production and consequently lesser negative impact on the environment.

Sustainable can also refer to the raw materials used for the clothes . This could be for example recycled or rest materials or other ways produced in a way that takes into consideration the harms that the textile industry causes the environment, in terms of pollution and also the socio-economic factor of the people involved in the production.

Main word to have in mind with sustainable fashion is the environment.

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Slow Fashion

Slow Fashion also shares the same ideas about awareness and responsibility as we discussed above. The main axes that the Slow Fashion principle is founded on are Quality, Cleanness and Fairness. For examples actions to take to become a ”slow fashion” consumer would be buying vintage, handmade,  redesigning old clothes, shopping from smaller and local producers, making clothes yourself or buying items that are meant to last longer. However, there is once again no official definition, and new innovative ideas are constantly created which makes the Slow Fashion a word that is constantly evolving and redefining itself.

The fast fashion system has also programmed us to follow a certain consumption pattern, where we believe that we need new items for every season. Shopping once a week is more a rule than an exception and we over consume and splurge in items that we do not actually really need neither truly desire. The slow fashion movement is challenging this and taking into consideration the habits of today and vouching for shopping less but better.

The bottom line is that slow fashion is the contrary of fast fashion, but there are multiple ways of being a ”slow fashion”-ista and mostly refers to the clothing piece itself.

Ethical Fashion

As the name itself suggests, this term is referring to ethics of how the clothes were made, the conditions that the workers are having such as minimum wage, human rights, child labor, safety of the working facilities etc. Once again, no official definition is provided, and the definition might vary from person to person. The main goal of ethical fashion is the same – to minimize the negative impacts that the fashion industry is having on the world and the workers in the industry.  Ethical fashion also refers to how the actual raw materials were made and during what conditions.

Key takeaway from the term ethical fashion is human rights.

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Circular Fashion

The concept of circular fashion is based on the principles of circular economy and sustainable development and is taking into consideration many variables, such as the entire life cycle of production ranging from design and sourcing to production, transportation, storage, marketing and sale as well as the end consumer and the lifecycle of the item.

Circular fashion could be defined as fashion that is intended to be used, to circulate responsibly in society and live for as long as possible to add value to several people.

This is where renting comes into the picture! By renting clothes, we allow the fashion items to have an increased lifecycle, to provide value for multiple people with a smaller harmful impact on the environment.

Instead of over consuming and filling the wardrobe with seasonal items that you will only wear for a certain amount of time, then either forget about or throw away the renting models allows clothes to continue add value to people and society.

What is important to take into consideration is obviously the impact of overproduction, and by renting more we could eventually in the long term turn towards a decreased overproduction which is a huge problem today.

Renting is a very easy way to convert towards a more sustainable lifestyle of fashion consumption with no compromises to your seasonal trend behavior.

The term circular fashion can also refer to upcycling, which means to re-use materials from products that are made for end consumption.

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Eco-friendly fashion

As the name suggests this refers to ecology, the impact on nature and the environment. The goal of ethical fashion is to provide goods that have minimal or none whatsoever negative impact on the nature and the environment. Eco-friendly clothes might refer to clothes that are made of fibers such as organic cotton and hemp, dyed with vegetables and fabrics that uses small amounts of water to grow, such as hemp and bamboo. To summarize, eco-friendly fashion is about the materials and minimal negative impact on the environment.

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Green washing

Sustainability has become trendy and we as consumers are demanding more in terms of transparency on the entire production chain to the actual end product in order for us to make conscious decisions while shopping. Green washing is simply put when companies lie, or say misleading facts to make their products appear better in terms of sustainability and harmful impact on the environment.

To sum it all up, we have multiple different definitions and vocabulary for essentially the same things: staying fashionable by consuming smarter and with an respect for the environment and the human rights.

An occurring problem with sustainable fashion is the guilt and bad conscience This needs to change. Fashion is supposed to be fun and a natural way for us to express ourselves and to make us feel good by the way we dress. Sustainable fashion is not about going extreme in one way or another. For us it is all about making conscious choices in a way that we can continuously enjoy the magical world of fashion but obviously with the huge respect  for the environment. It is the little things that matters, and already one conscious choice has a huge impact when there are millions of us doing them.

Will you join the fashion revolution with us?

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World of Clothèque

Welcome to the world of Clothèque

Here we share our stories, our values, our beliefs. We talk about our Nordic lifestyle while being Parisians, we talk about fashion, about the sharing economy, sustainability, who we are and what we stand for.

We meet with our partners, designers and get to know them a little bit better.

Our roots are important to us, and we wish to share our values about our Nordic and sustainable lifestyle via our story and our concept.

We believe in functionality, sharp design, thinking about the nature and each other and doing all of this while looking good and and more importantly, feeling good.

 

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We are now officially open and we celebrated that with a bang at Hotel Grand Amour during Paris Fashion Week.

Thank you for being a part of our magical evening and celebrating the official launch of Clothèque in the name of Nordic style and sustainable fashion.

This event marked the beginning of a new chapter and era- and we are thrilled that we could share this with all of you.

Photo credits: Zeynep Enderoglu