The Covid-19 emergency health crisis reveals the importance of “Made in France” or local production. To buy local is to support local producers and businesses, indeed local manufacturing is becoming the order of the day. While this revelation is new for some, it’s old news for others. For years, I have religiously been ordering my basket of fruits and vegetables every week from a local producer, near Antibes, a farmer who uses neither pesticides nor chemical fertilizers. Unfortunately, this direct sale has become impossible because of the confinement situation. The farmer may not come to Nice to sell his produce, and I cannot drive 60 km round trip for a basket, not to mention that carbon imprint caused by such a trip. For the past 6 weeks I’ve had to settle for organic products from local supermarkets and in organic stores. It is disheartening to see so many fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic! Plus the fact that buying French, not to mention local, is not evident at all. However, we have seen in the press that some of the large distributers are committing to favour French products and to support French producers who are often unable to sell their stock of seasonal produce due to labour shortage and market closings. I will admit that I did notice a small change in some stores, a small effort by Monoprix which now sells French carrots, loose and by weight, which of course is a good thing.
When shopping in organic stores like Naturalia, Biocoop and others, produce is of course organic however their origins can cause some surprise, being far from the locality being served. For example, you may find white cabbage from the Netherlands during peak season in the region for the same, or carrots from Italy you can travel a few kilometers to find the same near Nice. It’s difficult to understand the rationality of importing what could be grown close to home with less transport, less pollution and also helping the local job market.
For home decoration, “Made in China” is king, such as in Monoprix. This will no longer be possible when the COVID-19 crisis has passed. The world after COVID cannot be the same as before COVID and “Made in China” should be the exception and not the rule as it is today. It will be our role as consumers to make this change.
The same applies to the fashion industry with “fast fashion” with its cheap clothes, jeans that travel around the world by plane before arriving in our stores, not to mention cheap Chinese leather accessories as meat has become the norm there.
From the time of its launch in 2018, Vegan Mode’s DNA was precisely to promote primarily French brands whose products are made in France (6 French brands out of 8), and any non-French from neighbouring countries (one Italian and one English brand). But all need to be small independent brands, that produce locally and provide jobs and livelihoods for a few likeminded people and are never part of the large firms.
The Fantôme brand, located in Bordeaux, southwest France, locally produces bags and accessories using recycled inner tubes and socks using organic French cotton or linen. The inner tubes are harvested in the southwest of France so as not require the transport of raw material from the other end of France, let alone from the other side of the planet. Each product is delivered in recycled cardboard and without unnecessary packaging or paper.
Another example is the designer Camille in Paris who wanted to create an ethical fashion business after having worked for large distribution textile firms. Camille designs and produces vegetal leather bags using materials such as pineapple leaf fibers and recycled apple skins. The linings of the bags are made with organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles.
The Pineapple Traveler, the newest brand distributed by Vegan Mode, is located just a few kilometers from Vegan Mode, in Antibes and offers wooden and steel watches for both men and women with pineapple leaf, recycled nylon straps from boat ropes and recycled synthetic leather. Pineapple Traveler’s manufacturing is 100% French, local and vegan.
Vegan Mode prides itself on being one step ahead of current trends and new trends emerging today in response to the Coronavirus crisis. At Vegan Mode, we are ready to face the challenges that await us and with you that we endeavour to create a more ethical, responsible and vegan fashion. You can count on Vegan Mode to put all its energy at the service of French designers defending the same values, to provide you with access to the most beautiful selection of accessories worthy of the new world in which we want to live.