Organic Fashion Exhibition, 12 Dec 2016 – Gardenia Hotel, Dacca
Speech of HE Sophie Aubert, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh
I am pleased to give my support to this wonderful initiative of holding the Organic Fashion Exhibition.
In France, Organic Fashion is also called Ethical Fashion.
As for me, beyond fashion, this initiative sounds as being part of this new global trend that we call circular economy.
Instead of thinking in terms of “producing, consuming, and throwing”, we break this linear industrial economy to think in terms of “producing, consuming, recycling”.
And we have no choice if we want to preserve our environment.
This year I have read that in June, we had already consumed what should have been consumed globally in one year, to make sure that our planet would survive and regenerate its environment.
The industrial model we have developed is not sustainable.
Talking about this industrial model, people usually refer to water, energy, or cars and building, but fashion is a fundamental sector to turn into circular economy, when you think about it.
Because everybody wears clothes and because garment appears to be one of the most polluting industry in the world.
That’s the reason why definitively, organic or ethical Fashion must be supported and encouraged.
As for me, Organic Fashion can be approached from two sides : the one of the manufacturer, the one of the consumer.
From the manufacturer’s side, the deal is to produce in an environment-friendly way, using natural raw material, or recycling old clothes, and working with respect towards the worker.
From the consumer’s side, I would summarize my idea saying that it is “buy less, choose well and make it last”, to quote one British creator.
Just consider the figures : every year, we bought a total of about 80 billion items. But how many items we have that we don’t use in our dressings ?
How can the consumer do to make sure that the clothes he or she chooses have been manufactured in a way which respects our environment and the workers ?
All over the world, awareness has become stronger and stronger after the Rana Plaza accident.
This cheap fast fashion that has developed in many countries kills the fashion and it has forgotten that fashion means elegance, desire and quality.
On the opposite side of the fast fashion, organic or ethical fashion is becoming more and more important today, thanks to the global awareness of our populations, producers and consumers, and now we can see that fashion and ethics can come together.
Bangladesh being the second biggest garment exporter has an important role to play in the promotion of organic fashion.
Organic Fashion doesn’t mean small, traditional and isolated fashion.
I was a few weeks ago at the denim expo, and I have seen that even in the big denim industry, there is a strong willingness of producing cleaner and greener products.
I have seen since I arrived here how fast Bangladesh is changing, modernizing and developing awareness on all the environmental issues, without ignoring that the country has no choice but to keep on growing its economy.
In my view, we are in the right timing, and today is a unique opportunity for Bangladesh to play its role and to take the lead on ethical fashion.
We were discussing some weeks ago how denim industry can help Bangladesh branding all over the world. Organic Fashion could also be a brand for Bangladesh abroad.
I want to thank the organizers of this organic fashion event, and I would like to thank you all for supporting the initiative.
Thank you for your attention./.