Posts in ecology
Interviewing Poétique Paris, the First Fashion House that Offers Alternatives to Leather
The two beautiful Founders of Poétique Paris: Cattleya & Pauline

The two beautiful Founders of Poétique Paris: Cattleya & Pauline

Passion and benevolence lead to great achievements
— Pauline & Cattleya
Wearing some of their items in vegan leather

Wearing some of their items in vegan leather

(Version française plus bas)

Poéthique Paris, or "Peau éthique Paris" (ethical skin) phonetically, is a fashion brand that evokes dreams, 70s romance, poetry and timeless French charm à la Gainsbourg.

And above all, it stands as an ethical brand, respectful of both people, animals and the environment. In fact, it's even one of the first alternative fashion brands for leather, and the first of its kind in France.

I therefore decided to interview the two radiant Founders, Cattleya and Pauline.

Why offering an alternative to leather?

Leather embodies obviously a problematic because it is linked to animal suffering. Some animals are killed for their skin and leather is not just, as we might think, recycled waste from the food industry. In addition, tanneries are a humanitarian and ecological disaster.

What was your decision to start this project?

We did it in several steps. First, documentaries on Netflix brought our awareness on ethical issues with the current food industry and we started questioning our food choices. Soon after, we decided to take action: eat better, buy better clothes, then produce.

We started changing our own behaviors and soon enough, our way of life began to intrigue our relatives in a positive way, consciences around us started awakening, and it gave us hope!

On the fashion side at the time, we could not find a good alternative to leather.

I was looking for a biker jacket for instance, and I had the choice between spending time in thrift shops hoping to find the rare gem, buying that Zara piece that everyone had, finding a low-quality jacket from an average store or saving to buy a piece from a luxurious brand (in reference to our idol Stella McCartney).

Except that for us, fashion does not belong to an elite, it belongs to everyone and we wanted to create a style that resembled us.

That's how we decided to go against the grain.

How do you stand out with your values in the fashion industry?

Being an ethical entrepreneur is ambivalent because in order to have a real impact, one has to create a revenue.

Hence, we want to show that it’s not incompatible to run both an ethical and responsible production from A to Z: we source our materials in Europe (which limits our environmental impact), we work with studios (which avoids human slavery), and our materials, nb. cereal and apple leather, are vegan and adaptable to fashion (which avoids animal suffering).

When we make a decision, we look at those three conditions first, then we figure out how to sell them.

Of course, being 100% ethical means not selling nor buying, but since we cannot walk around naked ...! We sometimes can allow ourselves a fashion craving without feeling guilty! So better succumbing to a brand that is both pretty and ethical, right?

Love of fashion + desire to take action + desire to contribute to a better world = our project was launched!

What is your hope for the future of our society?

The current way of consuming is terrible, especially in fashion.

But change is taking place in developed countries: we expect tomorrow’s fashion to be 100% eco-responsible, and since Paris aims at becoming the capital of ethical and eco-responsible fashion by 2025, we want to be drivers of this change.

Tips for starting out as an entrepreneur?

Yes! First, spend time on the feasibility. Do a sourcing job to see if your project is feasible. If you are in fashion, check wether your desired material exists, test samples, make several prototypes, find good suppliers ...

Then surround yourself with a collaborator who shares your enthusiasm or friends who support you. And tell yourself that if it does not work it does not matter. Better remorse than regrets!

Personally, we would have suffered more from not having launched our project than from having done it too soon, say if the market weren’t ready, for example.

Last tip, sleep well, eat well and take time to disconnect (read a book, go to the movies, whichever hobby makes you feel good): And really follow your bliss because it's with passion and kindness that one can achieve great things!

 
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Did you know?

Here are some alternatives to leather:

Apple leather

Cereal leather

Mushroom leather

Oak tree leather

Wine leather

Pineapple leaf leather / Piñatex

did you know about apple leather

Le saviez-vous?

Voici quelques alternatives au cuir animal:

Cuir de pomme

Cuir de cereale

Cuir de champignon

Cuir de liège

Cuir de raisin

Cuir de feuilles d’ananas / Piñatex


 

Poétique Paris, ou “Peau éthique Paris” phonétiquement, est une marque de mode qui évoque le rêve, la romance des années 70, la poésie et le charme français intemporel “'à la Gainsbourg”.

Mais c’est avant tout une marque étique, respectueuse des hommes, des animaux et de l’environnement. En réalité, c’est même l’une des première marques de mode alternatives au cuir, et la première de ce genre en France.

Une interview s’imposait donc avec les deux fondatrices rayonnantes, Cattleya et Pauline.

Pourquoi une alternative au cuir?

- Le cuir est évidemment une matière problématique car elle est liée à la souffrance animale. Certaines bêtes sont tuées pour leur peau et le cuir n’est pas uniquement, comme on peut le croire, recyclé des déchets de l’industrie alimentaire. De plus, les tanneries représentent une catastrophe humanitaire et écologique.

Quel a été votre déclic pour vous lancer dans ce projet?

Cela s’est fait par étapes. D’abord une prise de conscience via des documentaires sur Netflix oû l’on s’est posées des questions sur nos choix alimentaires, puis au delà de cela on a voulu être dans l’action: mieux manger, mieux acheter des vêtements, puis produire.

On a commencé à notre échelle puis “l’effet tâche d’huile” s’est fait ressentir. Notre mode de vie a commencé à intriguer de manière positive, les consciences autour de nous se sont mobilisées petit à petit, et ca nous a donné de l’espoir!

Côté vêtements, on ne trouvait pas de bonne alternative au cuir.

Je cherchais par exemple un bon perfecto, et j’avais le choix entre passer des heure en friperie à espérer trouver la pépite, acheter la pièce Zara que tout le monde a, ou trouver un produit de marque lambda avec une qualité déplorable ou alors économiser pour s’acheter une pièce de grande marque (on pense a notre idole Stella McCartney). sauf que pour nous, la mode n’appartient pas à une élite, elle appartient à tout le monde et nous avons voulu créer une mode qui nous ressemble.

C’est comme cela que l’on a voulu sortir des chemins battus.

Comment pensez-vous défaire les codes du monde de la mode?

Etre un entrepreneur éthique est ambivalent car pour avoir un vrai impact, il faut se développer et créer du rendement.

C’est pourquoi on veut montrer que ce n’est pas incompatible d’avoir une production éthique et responsable de A a Z: on source nos matières en Europe (qui limite l’impact environnemental), on travaille avec atelier (qui limitent le mal-être humain), et nos matières, le cuir de céréale et de pomme, sont vegan et adaptables au prêt-a porter (qui évite la souffrance animale).

Lorsque l’on prend une décision, on regarde ces trois volets en premier, puis on se demande comment faire pour le vendre.

Bien évidemment, être 100% éthique c’est ne pas vendre et ne pas acheter, mais comme on ne peut pas se promener nues dans les rues…! Et puis on a parfois le droit de consommer et de craquer sur des pièces sans culpabiliser! Alors autant le faire sur une marque qui est jolie et éthique, non?

Amour de la mode + envie d’entreprendre + envie de mieux faire et d’être actrices de changement = notre projet s’est lancé!

Quel est votre espoir sur l’avenir de notre société?

La façon actuelle de consommer est terrible, notamment dans la mode.

Mais un tournant est en train d’être pris dans les pays développés: on s’attend à ce que la mode de demain soit 100% éco-responsable, et sachant que Paris a pour objectif de devenir la capitale de la mode éco-responsable et éthique d’ici 2025, on voulait être actrices de ce changement.

Des conseils pour se lancer en tant qu’entrepreneur?

Oui! D’abord, passer du temps sur la faisabilité. Effectuer un travail de sourcing pour voir si votre projet est faisable. Dans la mode, verifier que la matière recherchée existe, tester des échantillons, faire plusieurs prototypes, trouver de bons fournisseurs…

Ensuite, savoir bien s’entourer d’un collaborateur qui partage notre enthousiasme ou d’amis qui nous soutiennent. Et se dire que si ca ne marche pas ce n’est pas grave. Mieux vaut vivre avec des remords que des regrets!

Personnellement, on aurait plus souffert de ne pas avoir lancé notre projet que de l’avoir fait trop tôt si le marché n’était pas prêt, par exemple.

Enfin, bien dormir, bien manger et s’octroyer du temps pour déconnecter (lire un livre, aller au cinéma, peu importe le passe-temps qui nous fait du bien): Et vraiment en avoir envie, car c’est avec passion et bienveillance que l’on réalise de grandes choses!

poetiaue Paris vegan fashion

Are you an entrepreneur, an artist, an athlete, a healer or anyone who wants to make a positive impact in the word?

Unifying Earth with the Street Musician Danni Lança
Portugal Christopher brown
Portugal Christopher brown 2
Photos by Christopher Brown

Photos by Christopher Brown

I overheard Danni Lança’s music while walking nearby my hotel in Lisbon.

I picked up on certain words in Portuguese and figured he was singing about nature preservation and questions related to the future of our planet and species.

You know me, I sensed he had powerful messages to spread, so I waited for his break to ask for an interview:

“We need unification right now, he says.

There’s lots of differences and cultures on the planet and we forget we are one tribe.

You know, as a street singer; I’ve noticed the difference… I’ve been singing on the streets for 20 years, and people are not looking at me as much.

I sing in 5 languages though, so they understand what I say. And music is the most expansive art too. Say if I danced, passersby would only use one sense to notice me.

But if they don’t see me, how could they listen?

Popular songs nowadays talk about girls, gold and Ferraris. Those lyrics are low frequency and centered around ego.

But music has power and people cannot live without it, so I hope that musicians will start writing about more interesting topics, so we can bring a positive vibe and make a difference by talking about what’s inside humans rather than appearance.”

Find your way in the episode:

1:30 lyrics - the importance of taking care of the nature and each other

4:00 humans are disconnected

5:30 the power of music

“Don't Fit the Mold” / Interviewing a Yellow Jacket
gilet jaune

I was in Paris this week, and obviously, as a Journalist specialized in portraits of game-changers and rule-breakers, I ought to attend a yellow-jacket march.

As I was walking down Montmartre, I spotted a group of them, looking for the rest of the regiment. 

We made acquaintance:

“Be careful, walking around with your camera... Some of the YJ hate Journalists'“ they said, while handing me some artificial tears in case I’d get gassed.

“At the Champs Elysees last week, we saw some of them got beaten up and get their cameras crushed. It’s no laughing matter.

To be honest, we don’t trust the mass media anymore, they lie too much. So Journalists get stigmatized.

For instance, BFM TV claimed we were “1500” last week. Look at the pictures on my phone. This is ridiculous. They make the movement look smaller than it is, because they are scared.

I know you are an alternative media, but just beware.” 

Next, I asked him what he had against the government:

“We are cash cows to them. Constantly taxed.

For instance, my dad has worked for 40 years and keeps paying loads of taxes.

We go on holidays, and when we return, we notice the government has voted new laws in the meantime, or added more taxes.

The solution? I think that Macron should listen to people and ask us for our opinion. Let the people vote. And implement a real Liberty - Equality - Fraternity”.

I asked what triggered his willingness to revolt.

“Well, I’ve been in the army for 15 years and over there, I realized we were mere pawns of the State, formatted.

Selling weaponry, destroying countries, building them back and watching citizens suffer.

After the army, I worked in the Antarctic Ocean for a year, surrounded by penguins and sea elephants.

So when I got back to France, after being so connected to nature and animals, I got a slap in my face.

We are destroying the world. I see politicians and lobbies place money before anything else. That’s hypocrisy. I am scared for my children. Which is also why I am marching today. I questioned myself a lot. And the capitalistic system. I don’t want them to tell me one day “What have you done? How could you leave us a planet like this and not fight?!”.

I know it’s not easy, we work all day, we go home… But my message to people is: take a step back and analyze what is going on. Don’t fit the mold.”




The Importance of Preserving Nature in Real-Estate & Valuing Connections more than Ownership
Photo by Christopher Brown (Studios)

Photo by Christopher Brown (Studios)

Over the last few nights, I had the honor of staying at the fantastic Palacio Belmonte while in Lisbon, Portugal.

Overlooking the tile roofs and the Tagus river.

Sleeping in one of the top ten most luxurious suites in the worlds and certainly the most exclusive private guest house I’ve stepped into.

Arriving on the premises right after a superstar singer and leaving just before an awarded actor.

It was a surreal experience, to say the least.

The cheeky and approachable owner, Frederic Coustols, welcomed us and I quickly got interested in knowing him more.

Frederic is someone who’d rather read a good book and have a one on one conversation than attending mundane dinners.

All that is not given is lost
— Frederic Coustols, landscape collector

He’d rather share his home with guests, than owning an immense property alone and looking through the window.

He mingles with people from all walks of life, smoking cigars with a world-renowned artist in the morning, and talking about life with passers-by in the afternoon. It’s about human connections.

He’s seen both sides of the coin. Making his way up to becoming a multi-millionaire, losing it all and back again, he understood that happiness is within. And in accepting ourselves for who we are, and others.

Taking action by focusing mainly on vernacular architecture (a style that reflects local traditions) and starting ecological initiatives of environmental restorative projects rather than sitting still and watching the capitalist and consumerist model destroy the planet.

Frederic’s project, DaST, Develop a Sustainable Tomorrow: http://designasustainabletomorrow.com/about-dast/

The DaST projects value the relationship and connection with the local landscape, architectural history, traditional activities and social habits, introducing a new sustainable and contemporary way of life.

Find you way in the episode:

1.30 - Finding harmony in architecture, preserving its beauty and quality

3.30 - Happiness has nothing to do with money, still we want more

9.00 - The happiest people don’t travel

12.00 - From “my house” to the house of many

14.00 - Dream your life rather than living it & be lazy to succeed

19.00 - All that is not given is lost

You don't Give a Fuck
Reading time: 2'

Reading time: 2'

Olivier's tattoo of a split apart ladybug called out to me.

"There's a French saying that I find ridiculous. Basically if a ladybug appears on your arm, you're supposed to blow on it, make a wish and it will fly to the skies and ask God to make it come true.

That ladybug, I crush it.

I don't believe in that bullshit. I don't wait around and pray.

You know what, generally speaking anyways, people bury their heads in the sand and it revolts me. They pray for Paris, they pray for the temperature not to rise too much, they pray for Trump not to mess up. 

Crowds scare me. They are being TOLD that they eat shit, do a shitty job, have a shitty life all day long, and they do not give a fuck, myself included.

Do you know this quote from Gary D. Schmidt in the movie "La Haine"? It's the story of a man falling from a 50-story building. The guy, as he falls, repeats constantly to reassure himself: "So far so good. .. So far, so good. .. So far, so good..."

But the important part is not the fall. It's the landing.

This sentence sums up pretty well the global warming and all that mess.

"Temperature is rising but as long as I still have beers in the fridge and there's steak in the supermarket, so far so good". They pretend to try and make a difference, eat vegetarian, ecological. But take a look at the menu here (NB: we're sitting in a restaurant) - half of it comes from he other side of the world, packed up. Do you thing that quinoa is grown in France?!

I watched the documentary "Manufacturing Consent" the other day, about Edward Bernays. He turned the word "propaganda" into "PR" and invented the current American consumerist system. One day he was like "let's make people buy by desire rather than by need. He started promoting cigarettes to women by calling them torches of freedom. He never hid anything nor felt like he was doing anything immoral.

There's also this book from Gustave le Bon, "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind", that explains crowd behavior. There's no conspiracy theory and we are not taken for fools. We are taken for who we are. Everything is exposed and the information is out there. 

I believe that one way to sort this out is through education. My dad always taught me that if you look at something that appears flat, tilt your head and it might appear in 3-D. But real life nowadays is about putting food on the table, not chitchatting philosophy or questioning reality. School nowadays is TV and internet.

I'm not mad at the system because they'd be wrong not to offer things that people are willing to buy.

I'm mad at citizens.

I blame people for not doing their research nor taking meaningful actions and pretending to give a fuck. They complain about politics, ecology, employment rates and keep eating strawberries all year long and acting the same way, hoping for a different result.

I'm not going to take part in this mockery anymore.

I'll keep drinking, I'll keep smoking and I'll keep complaining but I found one way to contribute.

I care about waste and I’ve decided to act. So me and my girlfriend have decided to start dumpster-diving. In one night we collect food for the both of us for weeks. That’s one step. On a larger-scale, we are talking about tons of food wasted multiplied by supermarkets and by countries.

What do you REALLY give a fuck about and what do you do about it?