Special Report “More eco-friendly than ever”: Amélie Pichard

Amélie Pichard, Founder of the eponymous accessories brand

“A creative commitment is a huge undertaking, and my philosophy is to stick to it, observe the results and revise my practices as I discover new things. For example, I learned a lot when Pamela Anderson asked me to design a line of accessories with her in 2015. That’s when I realized that being vegan and being eco-responsible were two very different things. It’s quite simple to produce clothing without using silk or wool. But making shoes without leather, with a material that looks the same yet isn’t plastic, was really difficult five years ago. And it’s just as complicated today.

We have to choose our options on the basis of what’s possible. For example, I wanted to produce my bags and shoes in France. I travelled all over the country and finally started working with small Parisian craftsmen… then one after another they all closed up shop. There are very few manufacturers left today, and all of them prioritize large orders. It is impossible to work with them if you are a small independent company. After I realized that, I turned to Spain, then Italy. I changed factories 16 times in 9 years and today I manufacture my leather bags and shoes in Portugal. Accepting reality doesn’t prevent me from fighting to change what can be changed. My goal since 2015 has been to put things right. I gave a lot of thought to this race for newness that just exhausts us all. In the end I realized that I never satisfied anyone by wanting to satisfy everyone, in Japan, in Miami, in Russia or wherever. And I had neither the means nor the desire to produce multiple collections. So I decided I would talk directly to my clients. Sometimes they ask me to bring back a bag they I designed three years ago, which shows that they aren’t really obsessed with having the latest model. In fact it’s the opposite, they need time to digest, time to project, time to crave something. Which is exactly what I hoped to bring about by this direct relationship with them. I think the process is altogether much healthier. My products come out when they are ready and perfect. It takes the pressure off, not only for me but my partners too. I can work with craftsmen that I hunt down all over the world.

For example, the most gorgeous rattan weaving is made in the Philippines. The material comes from there, the weaving is done there, the artisans didn’t want to industrialize and preferred to keep their traditional know-how. It’s a real joy for me to collaborate with them…”

Read the rest of the special report “More eco-friendly than ever”

2/4 : Discover here the testimony of Gel Egger, Material Research & Development Coordinator – Salvatore Ferragamo

3/4 : Discover here the testimony of Isabelle Lefort Paris Good Fashion co-founder here

4/4 : Discover  the testimony of Marie Demaegdt Textile & Sustainability Manager,
CELC – European Confederation for Linen and Hemp here

And download here the complete Cloud of Fashion Newspaper: 70 pages of analyses and 360° strategies to meet the new challenges of fashion.

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