What is the price of ethical clothes in France?

On the internet I often read stories of people telling they can’t afford to dress ethically, with fair trade, green and/or locally made clothes. Yet I know people who dress ethically on a budget. So I had the idea to write this article about the price of sustainable fashion.

Today I still have few ethical clothes but I’m intested in ethical fashion and I share here some information I have found on the internet and while shopping. This article will focus on brands you find in France because I know them more and tackle all budgets, from high to low.

What can I buy with several hundred euros ?

Ethical fashion brands are high end or middle end brands. Within high end brands, there are designers such as Suzie Winkle, Honest by or Valentine Gauthier who sell dresses under 200 €.

Middle end brands’ prices are cheaper than prices of low end brands. They are also higher than prices of low end (and not ethical) brands like Zara or H&M but the quality is not comparable.

What can I buy with less than 100 euros ?

With less than 100€ , you will find something that suits your taste among ethical fashion brands such as Ekyog or People Tree or brands that manufacture in France such as Mars Loves Her or Bleu de Paname (for men).

However, to optimise your purchases, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions before buying anything. For example: Is it of good quality? Is it my style? When will I wear this garment? Does it make you stand out? Is it comfortable?
And the most important question: Do I need it?
In short, it’s worth taking a few minutes to thing so that you won’t regret your purchase after.

In order to spend less, be on the lookout for sales (“soldes” in French) and special offers.

drawing of a woman wearing an organic made in France T-shirt and black leggings

an organic and made in France outfit by Post Diem, spotted under 100€ on special offer on le dressing du cocardier

Here are some exemples of prices of items on sale I have seen:
a pair of Veja fair trade sneakers for the price of a pair of Nike sneakers
organic cotton jeans at AlterMundi for the price of Levis jeans
an organic cotton Mr. Poulet T-shirt for 22€
an Artisans du monde silk scarf for the price of a Monoprix supermarket silk scarf
a pair of Bleu Forêt socks made in France for 7,5€

What can I buy with less than 10 euros ?

Let me be straightforward: you can’t have an ethical T-shirt for 5 euros.

With less than 10 euros, you still can find small ethical things: an Artisans du Monde fair trade hair slide or a Marron Rouge upcycled clutch bag for example.

But if you want more, the solution is the second-hand market. Buying second-hand clothes it’s recycling so it’s ecological.

You can find second-hand clothes on the internet, in second-hand clothes shops (“friperies” in French), in consignment shops (“dépots ventes”) or in “vide greniers” (which are a mix of garage sale and flea market). I’m always impressed by the treasures that shopping experts find for a few euros in second-hand clothes shops. It’s worth mentioning charity shops such as Emmaüs, Oxfam or Bis boutique solidaire.

And what if my budget is closer to zero ?

I you have no budget to allocate to clothes, keep in mind that not consuming is the most ecological thing to do.

drawing of two women in a café. One says: I did something for the environment: I bought an organic cotton skirt. The other one answers : I did something for the environment too: I bought nothing!

Nevertheless if you feel like renewing your wardrobe, you can take advantage of a resource you have: you already have some clothes! Those clothes, you can wear them, fix them, transform them. If you don’t like them any longer, you can also sell them, swap them or lend them. Showing imagination can help to make good use of what we have.

As a conclusion

Whatever your budget, there are solutions to dress more ethically.

And if you’re still worried about your wallet, follow environmental journalist Lucie Siegle savvy advice: only buy a piece you can commit to wearing 30 times.

Other articles about ethical fashion on this blog:
Ethical fashion shops in Paris
How to buy clothes without feeling guilty

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Ethical fashion shops in Paris

If you go to Paris, you may buy clothes in some of its numerous fashion stores. And if you are interested in eco, sustainable or fair trade fashion, I have found that there are also a lot of ethical fashion shops in Paris. Below are a Paris map with a list of ethical fashion shops I have spotted by arrondissements (= Paris districts). The directory is not exhaustive and will be completed according to my discoveries.

Click here to see a larger map on google map

1st arrondissement

Bleu de Paname
68 Rue Saint Honoré
Métro station : Les Halles
Made in France clothes for men

140 voie Georges Pompidou (on the road along the riverbank)
Métro : Pont Neuf
fair trade clothes, accessories and decorative items

3rd arrondissement

5 Boulevard du Temple
Métro station : Filles du calvaire
fair trade clothes, accessories and decorative items

111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
Métro : Saint Sébastien Froissart
solidarity-based concept store. NB: not all their products are ethical.

7 Boulevard du Temple
Métro : Filles du calvaire
second-hand clothes, solidarity-based company

Front De Mode
42 rue Volta
Métro : Temple
Ethical designers’ clothes for women, men and kids

Twins for Peace
5 rue Commines
Métro : Filles du calvaire
Shoes for women and men

4th arrondissement

Monsieur Poulet
24 Rue de Sévigné
Métro : Saint Paul
organic cotton T-shirts

23 Rue des Francs Bourgeois
Métro : Saint Paul
Clothes for women

5th arrondissement

Eclats de Nature
9 rue le Goff
Métro : RER Luxembourg

Au Vieux Campeur
Métro : Cluny – La Sorbonne
Sportswear for women, men and kids
NB: not all their products are ethical but you can find some sustainable brands such as Patagonia, Vaude, Icebreaker or prAna.


6th arrondissement

Le 78
78 bis rue de Rennes
Métro : Saint Sulpice
El Naturalista ecological shoes

9th arrondissement

le sourire multicolore
13, rue Maubeuge
Métro : Cadet, Notre dame de Lorette or Anvers

Altermundi Martyrs
17 rue des Martyrs
Métro : Notre-Dame-de-Lorette
fair trade clothes, accessories and decorative items

30 Rue Tronchet
Métro : Havre-Caumartin
Clothes for women

19 rue Lamartine
Métro : Cadet
second-hand clothes, solidarity-based company

10th arrondissement

Ekyog stock
33 rue Beaurepaire
Métro : République
Clothes for women

22 – 24 rue des Vinaigriers
Métro : Jacques Bonsergent
made in France and organic clothes and accessories for women

Centre Commercial Kids
22 rue Yves Toudic
Métro : République
Clothes and accessories for kids

11th arrondissement

Altermundi Charonne
39, rue de Charonne
Métro : Ledru Rollin
fair trade clothes, accessories and decorative items

7-9 rue de Charonne
Métro : Ledru Rollin
Clothes for men and women

54 rue de Charonne
Métro : Ledru Rollin
Charity shop. Second-hand clothes for women, men and kids

La Botte Gardiane
25 rue de Charonne
Métro : Ledru Rollin
made in France shoes

Le labo de l’Abbé
25-27 rue Oberkampf
Métro : Oberkampf
Charity shop. Second-hand and upcycled clothes.

13 rue Oberkampf
Métro : Oberkampf
ecological shoes

Valentine Gauthier
88 boulevard Beaumarchais
Métro : Chemin Vert
Clothes for women

15th arrondissement

96 Rue Saint-Charles
Métro : Charles Michels
second-hand clothes for women, men and kids, solidarity-based company

16th arrondissement

Altermundi Passy
87 rue de Passy
Métro : Muette
fair trade clothes for women, men and kids, accessories and decorative items

17th arrondissement

Altermundi Lévis
8 rue de Lévis
Métro : Villiers
fair trade clothes, accessories and decorative items

18th arrondissement

Altermundi Ordener
135 Rue Ordener
Métro : Jules Joffrin
fair trade clothes, accessories and decorative items

89 rue des Martyrs
Métro : Abbesses
Clothes for women

55, rue d’Orsel
Métro : Abbesses
Wedding and cocktail dresses. Kids wedding clothes

More shopping addresses in Paris:

Among the animals blog’s favorite second-hand shops (in French)

Drawing of a woman searching her handbag and saying: All right, I have the most important: the list of ethical fashion shops !

Ready to shop!

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Health Food Stores in Vancouver

In Vancouver BC, you find organic products in supermarkets and in health food stores. Certified organic products are often mixed with some products that are more or less natural.
Organic products are labeled “certified organic” with the name of the certification body but there is no official organic logo.

Vancouver is sprawling and health food stores are difficult to locate when you don’t know the city so I have had the idea to share here my good shops to get organic products. Below are a map followed by a list of health food store in Vancouver classified by neighbourhood:

Click here to see a larger map

Vancouver Downtown

Choices Market (Yaletown)
1202 Richards Street

Capers – Whole Foods Market (Robson)
1675 Robson Street

Vancouver Westside

Choices Market (Kitsilano)
2627 West 16th Avenue

Capers – Whole Foods Market (Kitsilano)
2285 West 4th Avenue

Choices Market (Cambie)
3493 Cambie Street

Whole Foods Market (Cambie)
510 West 8th Avenue
I have written a review of this store: http://fr.apolliner.com/2010/01/whole-foods-market-supermarche-bio/

Choices Market (Kerrisdale)
1888 West 57th Avenue

East Vancouver

Mainly Organics
4348 Main Street

Donald’s Market
2342 East Hastings Street

Drive Organics
1045 Commercial Drive

East End Food Co-op
1034 Commercial Drive

West Vancouver

Whole Foods Market
925 Main Street
West Vancouver

Other places where you can find organic food

You can find local products in Granville Market that is Vancouver’s market. There is in particular a stall called Organic Acres Market that sells organic fruits and vegetables .
In the summer, some local producers sell their products in several farmers markets.

This guide is not exhaustive. I have just written down the shops I know. Feel free to share your organic good shops in Vancouver too in the comments section.

Another article about ethical consumerism in Vancouver on this blog:

Vancouver eco-friendly travel tips

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Whole Foods Market, the natural food supermarket

On my arrival in Vancouver, BC, I visited several health food stores. One of them impressed me with its dimensions: the Whole Foods Market located at Cambie Street and 8th Avenue whose surface area is around 51 000 square feet. I had never seen such a big natural food store before. In comparison, in Paris my organic food store measures approximately 2000 sq ft.


Whole Foods Market in Vancouver
storefront and green wall on the right

Whole Foods Market looks like a classic supermarket with many departments: fruits and vegetables, cheese, meat, seafood, pastries, grocery items, flowers, cosmetics…

You can have a drink on the spot. The prepared foods department includes sandwiches, a salad bar, a pizza station and a burritos bar to eat in or take away, in a compostable packaging.

inside Whole Foods Market in Vancouver      inside Whole Foods Market in Vancouver

Whole Foods Market is quoted on the stock-exchange and opens new stores every year. Its founder, John Mackey, started a small natural foods store in 1978. Today he is CEO of Whole Foods Market, Inc. , a libertarian and an union buster. He defends a concept called ‘conscious capitalism’. It means that, according to him, you can both make money and serve society. In 2009 he made news by opposing President Obama’s health care plan. His position was not accepted by some Whole Foods Market’s customers who predominantly support health-care reform and a boycott was called.

You can read Whole Foods Market’s good intentions on their website but it’s difficult to judge their sincerity. So in my review I have contented myself to list the advantages and disadvantages of the store as a customer.

* Large selection of organic products
* Large fine food department
* cheese that tastes like real cheese
* near transit stations
* clean and spacious store
* There are often tasting events
* If you bring your own shopping bags, you receive a small discount
* You can find everything you need for an improvised picnic

Whole Foods Market's cheese department in Vancouver

* The mix of organic and conventional products
* Prices are expensive, especially for organic meat but competitors are expensive too
* Some imported fruits and vegetables have travelled long distances
* There are many industrial products made by large companies and few traditional products from small producers
* There are often price errors
* The store belongs to a multinational company that has more than 280 stores in the United States, in Canada and in the United Kingdom. It competes with local health food shops. In Vancouver Whole Foods Market acquired Capers’ stores in 2007. This means less competition and less choice for consumers.

Although it is far from my home, this store is convenient to shop organic. But I do the grocery shopping at other places too.

For more information:
the official website of Whole Foods Market
an interview of John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market
a critical article on Whole Foods Market


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Good shops in Paris and in Paris Region

If you plan to go to Paris, here is a list of stores selling organic products and all sorts of good shops (ecological products, Fair trade products, natural cosmetics, honey…). This list was made by people living in Ile de France who wish to share their good shops. You can open this rtf document in a word processor (like Microsoft Word).
Click on the address book picture to download the list.


address book

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