Sustainably-sourced French brand Alibi is making its mark in the Parisian Streetwear scene. Each of Alibi’s collections is entirely different to one another, as it sources and upcycles existing fabrics and garments.
As stated in its manifesto, Alibi wants to change the fashion and streetwear scene by providing small runs of upcycled garments, communicating ‘the current system (fashion) relentlessly overproduces clothes that we do not need, Alibi recovers clothes and materials to transform into new collections”. The brand uses several techniques to create their upcycled streetwear from sewing, embroidery, flocking, silk screening, bleach and even patchwork.
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Not only is sustainability key for emerging and established brands, it is also an essential tool in order for the fashion industry to implement change. For years, the industry has been under scrutiny when it comes to matters of sustainability, being eco-friendly and ethical issues. To be more conscious, shoppers must support brands that are designing and producing sustainably.
With Alibi being one of the brands making a difference, we had to find out more about them.
Tell us about Alibi, how was the brand founded and by who?
Alibi was founded in 2019 by a team of young Parisian creatives who wanted fashion to be more responsible. We like to say that our brand reflects the strength of a plant grown into the concrete of urban cities. We’d like to see nature being rightfully represented in the fashion industry.
Does the French streetwear scene impact your designs, if not what does?
As young creatives born and raised in Parisian streets, the actual street atmosphere is important to Alibi. French people have always been an inspiration to us, especially in the way they match styles without even knowing it. You can easily see people matching pieces that you wouldn’t expect to. For example, an elegant coat, a tracksuit with Air Max.
In your Instagram bio, you state that you ‘source and create’. What do you mean by that?
Our collections are exclusively made of second-hand materials, sourcing fabrics is one of our main activities. We design our products based on the fabrics we have previously sourced; we then develop prototypes and hand-craft each piece. Our workshop is located in the suburbs of Paris (Ivry-sur-Seine) and we have all the professional machines to sew, overlock, embroid, screenprint.
Sustainability clearly has a significant impact on your work. Explain your upcycling process.
Creating pieces from materials you have already sourced forces you to re-imagine your creative process in a reversed way. Upcycling opens up a lot of opportunities in terms of garment-making – which would not have been previously thought of in the luxury market. When you use it well, upcycling allows you to design unique pieces and to build a strong identity.
Why is sustainability important to you?
Sustainability is not even a question to us; it is a must! More and more people are aware that the fashion industry is clearly becoming an issue and that it is time to take decisive actions in order to reduce its negative impact on the environment. We believe that if you want to make garments today, you should not be part of the fashion industry unless you work sustainably.
You also state that the fashion industry overproduces clothes. Explain what you mean by this and why Alibi is different.
Fast fashion has become so efficient in the last years that the European and Eastern markets have drowned under cheap garments. Consequently, we have witnessed terrible working conditions for factory workers, as well as severe pollution.
We believe that new productions should be stopped and brands need to start using existing resources. It is a long path, especially for old established brands. But it is the direction we think the fashion industry must take. And it is the one Alibi has taken since birth.
Finally, what can we expect from Alibi in 2022?
We are collaborating with the famous Parisian store Printemps in March 2022. We will present our new collection, all made from second-hand fabrics of course. We will also be hosting a workshop to demonstrate upcycling and low impact practices. Some more collaborations and projects are to be announced soon!
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