Press 9 April 2010
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Ethical Fashion Show:
The history of a vision which became a success
The Universal Love Association was founded 15 years ago, because
it transpired that there was no sales network, and no exhibition
venue, for young fashion stylists, artists and designers.
That was in 1995. To help the situation, the Association set up the
first Free Markets, which became a real springboard for creative
young people from Paris. Regular meetings for young and old in a
sociable, party atmosphere, to discover new ways in which people
could dress, consume, and amuse themselves. It was through these
events that many new entrants to the profession first became known
and were able to develop their brands.
Thanks to the travel and meetings undertaken, particularly with two
fashion designers, Oumou Sou from Senegal and Bibi Russel from
Bangladesh, in 2002 the idea of a trade fair for ethical fashion
developed into a concrete proposal.
Actually both of them allowed me to participate in their vision of an
alternative fashion, a fashion which can be a vehicle for development
in the countries of the South, an elegant fashion with a regional
expertise which it is vital to preserve for future generations. They
induced me to undertake a rather different trade fair, which will
thoroughly stir up not only the image of fashion, but our type of
Messe Frankfurt France S.A.S.
It was my intention therefore to feature these two designers in my 1 avenue de Flandre
presentation, together with all such brands and initiatives of France
international designers as have an alternative view of fashion, a
9 April 2010
fashion which respects Man and his working conditions, right across
the production chain, and which respects the environment, a fashion
reflecting the handicraft expertise from which the richness and variety
of every culture takes its origin. “There is no beauty in the finest
clothes if it makes hunger and unhappiness!!” Mahatma Gandhi.
To make Paris the capital of ethical fashion has become the Universal
Love Association’s new reason to exist.
Thanks to the City of Paris, the PPR Group and all members of the
Universal Love Association, 2004 saw the premiere of the Ethical
Fashion Show, featuring around twenty designers, at the Nikki Diana
Marquard Gallery in the Place des Vosges. The aim of this first show
was to explain the manifesto of an ethically justifiable fashion, a
manifesto which we had written together with the exhibitors, and to
tell the press and public about the potential challenges involved in
The second show, which was held at the Espace des Blancs
Manteaux, the Paris cultural centre in 2005, featured presentations by
Since 2006, along with the manifesto, there has been a questionnaire
which every participant must fill in, so that we can ascertain the actual
ethical commitment of every production.
In 2006 and 2007 events featuring 60 and 75 designers respectively
were held in the Tapis Rouge. In 2008, 130 designers gave
presentations in the noble hall of the Carrousel du Louvre. Since that
time we have been well known in the fashion world.
Thanks to those who believed in us and supported us − institutional
partners such as DIESES (Inter-Ministerial Delegation for Innovation,
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Social Experiment and the Social Market), the City of Paris, the Ile de
France region, the Ministry of External Trade, the Foreign Office, the
Ministry of Sustainable development, the ADEME (French
organisation for environmental and energy management) and private
partners (LVMH, La Redoute, Bleu Vert, etc.), from 2004 to 2009 we
were have therefore been able to hold this seminal international trade
fair for ethical fashion.
Isabelle Quéhé, Founder of the Ethical Fashion Show