Via Domus in Arles: exhibitors fight against fast fashion and bet on Made in France

Sunday, May 29, is the last day of the Via Domus fair in Arles. Four days of exhibitions, conferences and exchanges that will broaden everyone’s horizons. Feedback from presenters.

French production is still possible. And this is what the Via Domus exhibition in Arles wants to show. A challenge accepted by Laines Paysannes, a company founded in 2016. Lisa Régis, head of direct sales, explains the process: “There is no color, the color of the sweater is the color of the sheep. What we want is to move the lines of fashion and highlight the fragility of the sector.” Without fatality, she adds: “We’re trying to come back and raise the alarm.”

Because, in the long run, the sector could no longer exist. there is only one wool washing workshop left in France. Some breeders still consider wool to be waste. Here it is rejected in different forms: rug, pullover, pillow cover.

Attitude towards transformed clothes

“The attitude towards clothing has changed, it has become a disposable object that has lost its power of transmission.” Unlike fast fashion, designers produce only what is ordered to avoid overstocking.

On the other hand, the creations of Eric Bergère shine in the church of Sainte-Anne. David Garcia, his assistant, is delighted with the niche in which he finds himself. The collections are usually exhibited in two workshops in Arles.

Éric Bergère, the creator of Dou Bochi, was a stylist for ten years at Hermès, then at Lanvin and collaborates with Inès de la Fressange. “It’s great that many Arles residents discovered us thanks to the Via Domus exhibition. This gives ready-to-wear a new impetus.”

And let me add: “This show lifts everything up and shows the positive energy of the city. But what remains an obstacle is the price. Our dresses are sold from €250.”

The entire textile sector needs to be rethought

The entire industrialized textile industry needs to be rethought to become virtuous. The company Tengban, led by Natalija Bredin, deals with this. She uses fabric scraps for upcycling, an approach focused on recycling materials.

Its flagship product? Protective cover for the yoga ball in cream tones. But she also creates salad bowls from harvested mango wood, after it can no longer bear fruit.

But the real value of the Via Domus show is that beyond the imagination and knowledge it highlights, the entire path it offers is beguiled during this first edit.

First of all, a trip around the city, getting to know different exhibitors, but also its way of consumption and production, a vision that visitors take with them and that will last even after the fair.

Driftwood produced in Nîmes

In the Church of the Brothers of the Preachers, Madeleine exhibits the creations she made with her son Maxime. Their niche? Scan the beaches for driftwood. And from their findings, they create unique furniture that they decorate with metal or fabric depending on the creations.

Cuttings are also recycled in front of him. Laurence Saugé, the founder, had the idea to recover oyster shells or bricks to make a lamp. His latest creation: a lamp based on a badminton ball.

The rest of the quilt is used to make the inside of the pillowcases. For the vases, this comes from car windshield debris. In Via Domus, they show that nothing is lost, but everything is transformed.

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