“Made in France” is truly a matter of common sense: having the good sense to seek out expert skill wherever it is, educate the consumer, and explain to her a brand’s approach and whole story. This type of “Made in France” is increasingly at the heart of concerns for French brands, and the lingerie industry is fully impacted by this. The January 2020 session of the Salon International de la Lingerie presented several young French brands that reflect this desire to shake things up in favor of greater commitment and common sense. Such is the case of Simplement Lingerie, Nénés Paris and Esquisse Lingerie.
A new brand launched in 2019 by Marion Rocher, Simplement Lingerie takes as its guiding principle natural underwear for liberated women in search of greater meaning. Truly caring, the brand’s founder has chosen to be gentle on women’s bodies and skin by carefully selecting fabrics and dyes, as well as shapes that are ultra-comfortable. More specifically, she uses GOTS-certified organic cotton fabrics that are naturally dyed and produced in France. The absence of underwire or padding in the bras goes hand-in-hand with consumers’ new desire for comfort in the intimate sphere. As Marion Rocher explains, “I produce 100% in France because I thought it was worth a try. (…) I found a factory, but I hadn’t found my fabric sourcing. It wasn’t easy to find the right fabric. The options on the supply side weren’t mature enough for what I was seeking, so that’s why I started looking at neighboring countries, to find top-quality fabrics and be able to offer a truly coherent product.”
For Nénés Paris, the goal was to highlight feminine curves using sustainable materials, and all at a reasonable price. Launched in 2019 by Margot Dargegen, Nénés Paris seeks to be transparent from A to Z in terms of its processes. For her, “the most eco-friendly way to do it is to use recycled fibers”. And yet, this sector is still in its infancy in France, which meant that this brand had to seek out this expertise where it could be found, in this case, in Spain and Italy for lace, and in Portugal for manufacturing. “This seemed like the most logical thing to do because, even if my fabrics aren’t made in France, at least they’re made in Spain, where fishermen collect bottles along the coastline, so, in the end, whether my fabric travels from Spain to Portugal or from Spain to Lille, it ends up being closer in terms of total kilometers.”
Launched in 2016 by Céline Jean, Esquisse Lingerie seeks to get out of the lingerie fast-fashion cycle by “doing things differently, offering an alternative”. As its founder explains, “when we launched the brand in 2016, we clearly focused on thoughtful fashion and tried to do things well and be transparent in everything we do”. Esquisse Lingerie designs are also just as creative as they are comfortable: no underwires, laser-cut briefs, meaning total freedom for the body, along with an assortment of lovely prints. Over its first three years of existence, Esquisse Lingerie was 100% Made in France. In 2019, this brand made the decision to expand its manufacturing to Italy and Portugal due to matters regarding production facilities, but it still maintains most of its production in France.
Seen through a lingerie lens, this “Made in Common Sense” approach is now the baseline for all new brands. Though they attempt to favor Made in France as much as possible, this market is not yet mature enough, and Made in Europe, for the proximity and expertise it offers, remains the most viable solution to date. Simplement Lingerie, Nénés Paris, and Esquisse Lingerie are using all their expert knowledge to serve their beliefs and values, and they represent a generation that uses good sense, making it a real lifelong goal. Though the ideal solution may not exist, common sense adds value and humanity to it all, building a more sustainable future.
SOMETHING TO READ AGAIN & AGAIN/THE LITTLE CARING GUIDE TO MADE IN FRANCE
You can now download our little caring guide to Made in France, presented in conjunction with the Made in Common Sense survey. Visit our website, http://leherpeurparis.com/, in the “commitment” section. READ MORE