{eco brand} les sublimes: redefining french style

Friday, July 15, 2016

in each of our life stories, there exist captivating tales of how we came together to move our personal mountains: sometimes it's a boy-meets-girls story of love + romance, other times it's a girl-meets-girl story of friendship + conspiratorial dreams. this is the story of two spirited women who dreamed + schemed to impact the world positively. and this is how they're doing it. 

alexis assoignon + kachen hong first met while studying at the paris institute of political studies in 2006. after being assigned to a project together, kachen took alexis under her wing because, according to alexis, her french language skills needed some serious mending; soon a veritable friendship was formed.

upon graduation they each relocated {alexis moved to vancouver, then nyc; kachen migrated to taipei and then back to paris}. they explored the vast globe: separately and then jointly journeying through the lowlands of nepal. they experienced vivid worlds that existed sans paved roads or electric power and they encountered worlds of high privilege, and they stumbled into the presence of benevolent people that created a tiny revolution in each of their hearts. at the end of their travels, both found themselves in paris, reunited at last.

struck by the disparity between the lives of garment works and those who purchase the garments they produce, alexis offers, "fashion comes in for both of us from having done a lot of traveling, often to developing countries. bonding with people we met along the way who have so little and who are struggling, and then the contrast of the cheap prices for clothing that we see over there {and at home}."

kachen + alexis made the decision to create their own eco fashion label, les sublimeschampioning sustainable ideals while instigating a new discourse between consumer + producers, one defined by transparency and the highest ecological + human rights standards. oh, and a highly covetable collection of essential items that make getting dressed in the morning fun + facile. this is french fashion with a green twist.

both women understood the pervasive nature of fashion in our everyday lives {alexis formerly worked on the business side of the luxury fashion industry and kachen worked as a consultant in sustainable consumption for both large and boutique firms}; they were also well aware of the textile industry's unquenchable resource consumption + energy use, as well as its social impact. 

i wondered how these ladies chose a small 2nd generation atelier in renaison, france, one of the few surviving ateliers in the region, for production of their designs. alexis shared, "we were hoping to find a production partner that met our ethical standards. we learned about a handful of artisan ateliers in france and their need for support. they were happy to work with us on our smaller quantities. we could easily visit them in person and also learn more about the production process.

in the future, alexis + kachen hope to expand to production in developing communities, via a co-op in bolivia + a small, a fair trade factory in rural india. for now, giving back to marginalized women is woven into the very fabric of their company. every time an item is purchased from les sublimes, one month of education is funded for an adolescent girl. 

"operating a responsible for-profit company really is a long term solution to many global issues itself. but we kept coming across these blocks to women accessing living wage jobs. the barrier was always education for them. without it, they have almost no chance of reaching a point where they could apply for quality work in the garment industry," shared alexis. investing in girls' education is indeed a long-term solution to breaking the cycle of poverty.

les sublimes is currently hosting an indiegogo campaign. to support a company raising awareness around the impact fashion has on the environment while offering sustainable solutions + choices {really beautiful, well-crafted choices} click on over to see the designs + meet the ladies behind the label

{images via les sublimes / artwork by f+d}

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