SECOND LIFE: Printemps is on the lookout for used clothing.
The Paris department store is launching a sustainability-focused event named “(Re)Créez, (Ré)Inventez” (“Re-create, Reinvent”), putting the spotlight on upcycling, marking the latest retail initiative aimed at tapping into consumer interest in environmental and ethical issues.
From April 4 to May 12, customers will be able to bring used garments into all Printemps stores to be donated to the French Red Cross. The clothing will either be distributed to people in need or resold in Red Cross charity stores.
The department store has also chosen to showcase creative ways of disposing of used garments. In addition to welcoming secondhand clothing boutique Tilt Vintage, Printemps has tapped Maroussia Rebecq, who designs under her brand Andrea Crews, to create a 20-piece capsule of upcycled clothing in partnership with local charity Tissons la Solidarité.
Using leftover clothing from Printemps’ stock, the designer worked in collaboration with 70 socially responsible workshops specializing in textiles. They help 1,900 workers return to the professional world each year, 83 percent of which are women.
For the event’s duration, the windows of the Printemps Haussmann store in Paris will be taken over by five artists celebrating material reuse.
Each participant has based their chosen artwork on an upcycled item: Emilie Faïf and Serena Garcia Dalla Venezia used textiles; Cicia Hartmann chose plastic bottle tops; Veronika Richterova opted for plastic bottles, while Atelier Laps favored wood to create their large-scale sculptures.
The Printemps initiative comes on the heels of rival Galeries Lafayette’s “Go for Good” campaign with Stella McCartney last fall, which highlighted the sustainable bent of products scattered around the store, while flagging broader aims.