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Courregès has, without a doubt, gone a long way since the beginning—from a company that went with the flow, it now takes a hard stand on insisting not to use plastic in its future collections. That statement is not to be taken lightly, especially when considering how the company had its start with elastane and PVC, and eventually established a brand out of vinyl.
Courregès, founded in 1961 by the late André Courrèges, became a memorable brand for its futuristic pieces. The material used was mainly plastic, but the label was not alone in the practice. Everyone was into the wonders of plastic, not to mention its accessibility, and that went beyond fashion. Some of Courregès’ most iconic pieces, such as its boxy jackets, go-go boots, and mini skirts that were made with synthetic materials were all the craze and became defining pieces of the time. Half a century later, the brand became largely associated and had success with vinyl, but it is ready to let that go for the sake of the world we all live in.
The beginning of a new era
The undertaking, announced in Courregès social media channels, was spearheaded by new creative director Yolanda Zobel. Our collective problem with plastic can no longer be ignored, which is why Zobel makes her mark in the label and the industry by creating a debut collection that is free from plastic. The après plastic collection took a look back at some of the label’s most memorable garments without having to recreate them in vinyl, respectfully saying goodbye to its company’s heritage.
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Besides the pieces that were first seen on the Paris Fashion Week, the brand also has a capsule collection entitled La Fin Du Plastique, which, for the non-French speaking of us folks, is translated to “the end of plastic” in English (the phrase also makes an appearance on the catwalk during the Paris Fashion Week). Courregès had a pop-up store installed beside its flagship over at Avenue François 1er, featuring creations made with nylon and vinyl so that it could get rid of its remaining materials without resorting to more environmentally risky options.
A sustainable move into the future
Consumers, especially younger ones, have come to demand more from the brands and labels that they follow. It is a stark change from decades ago, when it can be argued that fashionistas gave less consideration to the environment in order to be stylish. This has pressured fashion companies to pay attention to the criticisms against the industry, and find more sustainable options in the manufacture of their pieces.
The move by the French label can be seen to go into the same league as other fashion maisons announcing being fur-free. Courregès would no longer plunge into the future with plastic like it once did; the appeal of vinyl is not lost in Zobel and the brand is still highly valued for its work with the material, but there are other matters that take precedence.
Image credits: Courrèges, Christophe Ena/Associated Press, Francois Durand/Getty Images, Bill Ray/The Life Picture Collection/Getty Images