eco brand: wilo, passport to style

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bright idea, bold move

sitting across from marine chapon is a sensory experience, a little bit like sitting across from a woodland; you're captivated by the inherent beauty and you're simultaneously aware that there's so much more that lies beyond the surface. marine + i fell into a beautifully tangled dialogue about our mutual respect for animals, our passion for traveling to far-flung locales, and opting for vegan + ethically produced fashion that allows us to live a life according to our values. today we explore the world of wilo, a french unisex + vegan handbag line, from the fecund mind of marine chapon.

women's accessories have been called "an almighty force" in the annals of fashion; in many ways they allow us to go about the important business of living while keeping us pulled together. when we leave our homes each day, we organize a small, portable part of our lives into our bags and purses: keys, phones, notebooks, cameras, writing utensils, snacks and the mysterious items that have made their way to the bottom, cavernous parts of our purses. wilo brings us perfectly polished, animal-free designs, to help keep it all together. 

ambitious new directions

the fashion landscape is changing, and marine's bold + ambitious new direction takes us into the world of animal-friendly fashion, vying for a leather alternative + organic cotton to create sophisticated, eco-friendly options for the modern gal + guy. wilo is the new, cruelty-free + carbon neutral brand on the paris fashion scene giving us minimalist designs made with respect to the earth's ecosystems. at the heart of wilo's mission is allowing an ever-growing conscious culture of citizens + consumers to dress and travel in accordance with their beliefs of compassion. wilo can be included in the oeuvre of eco-friendly designers like stella mccartney whose fetching designs shatter myths, informing us that faux leather can be sculpted into sophisticated, long-lasting + durable products. 

animal welfare and respect for the workers manufacturing the products are an integral part of wilo's approach. visits to manufacturing plants have allowed marine + her business partner to meet the workers who construct each of the designs. the preparation of parcels is carried out by an association working with men + women in social reintegration. 

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seeds of change

marine is a brilliant photographer, a clever business woman + a talented designer: having worked in the luxury fashion industry, she understands the appeal of a poetic piece, a piece so beautifully crafted that it almost sings to you. beyond the ballads of her beguiling designs, marine has paid careful attention to every step of production via her company's ecological footprint, both in the choice of materials, the manufacture of products and the distribution channel.

your purchase will arrive in recycled packaging, and recycled paper tags are embedded with flower seeds so that they may be planted. the handbags are pvc-free; marine hopes to expand the use of plant-based textiles, as an advocate of the democratization of ecological and plant-strong synthetic materials. she shares, "we have set up a carbon accounting + emission compensation system linked to our activity, taking into account the complete life cycle of our products, from the extraction of materials necessary for manufacture, to their end of life, in order to present carbon neutral balance from our creation."

a songbird among handbags, take a peek at wilo's new designs here.

the way forward

{don't forget the tip} leather is not a mere bi-product of the meat industry; today, cows are farmed to fuel the leather industry to keep up with consumer demand for coats, handbags + shoes. lucy siegle, author of to die for, reminds consumers, "every time you make a purchasing decision, you're also making a production decision. nearly half of the global leather trade is carried out in developing countries – from ethiopia to cambodia and vietnam – where, despite a backdrop of exploitation of animals and humans and the extraordinary level of pollution caused by unregulated tanneries and processors, the pressure is on to produce more. this shouldn’t just perturb vegans, but anyone with a passing regard for the planet. we know that raising livestock in increasing numbers is unsustainable, purely from crunching the numbers around greenhouse gas emissions. but in 2009 a seminal greenpeace report, slaughtering the amazon, made a direct connection between leather and the environment. researchers used satellite imagery to show how the brazilian cattle industry (with around 200m head of cattle) was responsible for 14% of the world’s annual deforestation. moreover, associate products, including leather and tallow made in deforested rainforest, were finding their way into the supply chain of major brands." explore the many charming, vegan options available here.

images by marine chapon