By Paige Donner
Louis Vuitton, Lancel, Stella McCartney…These are some of the biggest names in the fashion industry worldwide.
Each of them have debuted IT bags this year, and those bags happen to be Eco-friendly and/or Ethically oriented.
Louis Vuitton Keepall 45 “Edun”
Louis Vuitton has partnered with Edun to design the limited edition Louis Vuitton monogrammed Keepall 45. The Every Journey Began In Africa joint ad campaign which features Edun designer Ali and her husband Bono wearing Edun ethical fashions and carrying the Keepall 45 LV tote as they step out of a small plane onto the sweeping grass plains of Africa can be found at LouisVuittionJourneys.com. Photographed by Annie Liebovitz, it is one of those ad campaigns that are the stuff of legends.
Edun is the fashion brand started in 2005 by Ali Hewson, Bono’s wife, that is ethical, organic, and, since last year, 49% owned by LVMH luxury brands, the parent company of Louis Vuitton.
During Paris Fashion Week, Edun and Louis Vuitton will unveil a temporary Art Exhibit, Africa Rising, an exhibition of contemporary African Art, alongwith Edun’s Spring collection and a showcase for the campaign.
The Louis Vuitton Keepall 45 Edun’s signature charm on the bag (also sold separately) was handcrafted in Kenya by the fair-trade jewellery label MADE. It is the French firm’s first made-in-Africa product.
All proceeds from sale of the LV Keepall 45 Edun bag, as well as the photo fees earned by Bono and Ali, will be donated to Technoserve and the Cotton Initiative. Pictures of some of the 800 organic cotton farmers who make up the Cotton Initiative are on the LVJourneys site along with Ali speaking about the underpinnings of the (organic) Cotton Initiative and how EDUN is a fashion line she created to support this.
Its presence in a Vuitton campaign gives Edun — and its mission to eradicate poverty through sustainable enterprise in Africa — international exposure, said LV’s director of communications, Antoine Arnault.
The Stella McCartney Falabella
Stella McCartney, a life-long vegetarian, has always maintained that she will not use leather, animal skins, or fur in her designs. This is the season, once again, of leather and fur but Stella’s faux-leather Falabella Bag, the season’s IT bag as far as celebrities such as Rihanna, J. Lo, and Kate Hudson are concerned, has that bred-in Rocker Chic without sacrificing one gram of Eco Ethics.
With winter’s muted shades of camels and greys, the chain strap Stella McCartney Falabella Bag in snakeskin print goes with everything…and easily…from night to day. McCartney has long been the leader in Eco Fashion, though she has never led with her green foot. Rather, her Fashion Forward sense has simply propelled her towards making superb calls on the world stage of design and fashion that are aligned with her personal convictions. On her site, StellaMcCartney.com, when you click on Green Me you will find quotes such as:
“The best thing you can do to help animals is to not eat or wear them. Let others know about the abuse that animals endure and ask them to say no to meat and leather too.” – Stella McCartney
Lancel And Brigitte Bardot
Which brings us to LANCEL. A revered leather goods and fashion icon brand in France and known the world over, their BB bag seduced not just the shores of St. Tropez this summer, but quickly became the must-have IT bag of fashionable, well-dressed women across the continents.
The Lancel BB bag was designed by (namesake) Brigitte Bardot who added personal touches to the bag such as the wide shoulder strap inspired by the guitar strap from when she strummed her strings on the famous Tropezienne shores between takes from the And God Created Woman film set back in the 50’s.
Using a different approach, luxury leather goods company, Lancel, did not do an all-out campaign promoting the Eco-ethics of its bag. But anyone who knows anything about Brigitte Bardot would quickly realize that a bag designed by one of the most vocal animal rights activists on the planet would necessarily be leather-free.
To simulate leather/ suede the bag’s rich dark chocolate incarnation is made from Alcantara, which looks every bit like suede and is soft and supple to the touch. In addition to the world of fashion, Alcantara is used in interior design features of yachts, and for interiors of the Maserati and Lamborghini.
The BB bag was designed to capture the feminine allure that Brigitte exuded as a film Goddess. The shape of the bag itself is reminiscent of a woman’s hourglass figure. No animals were harmed in the creation of the bag, it is entirely cruelty-free. A fact that hasn’t harmed the bag’s wildly popular success. Indeed, on a recent jaunt along the Champs Elysées, in Lancel’s flagship shop, the BB Bag in Beige is to be had only by special order!