From the fashion capital of the world Maxine Wattam has set out on a mission; work with quality materials and never overproduce. Leaning into various sustainable techniques and the use of innovative materials, the brand has built its foundation on quality craftsmanship, superior materials and appreciation for the human form. Their main lace provider, House Sophie Hallette, offers the finest Calais lace, which is manufactured on traditional weave looms. Other service providers also offer innovative and sustainable materials that can be seen throughout their collections.
As a growing slow fashion brand, Maxine Wattam has been through some unique challenges and deals with issues many fast fashion brands may not face. From working at reducing their environmental impact to ensuring quality standards never drop, the brand has strived to offer its best to its customers. We had the pleasure of sitting with the brand to find out more about its mission, vision and sustainability journey.
What inspired you to start your Brand?
Our starting point was our desire to share our style and vision of elegance, and more generally our vision of fashion. In a fast-changing industry that encompasses a lot of conflicting behaviours, we wanted to be able to choose to work with people who shared our values and commitment to change.
What does sustainable/ethical fashion look like to you?
Our definition of sustainability is local manufacturing and sourcing of quality materials from dormant and upgraded stocks. We want to put French craftsmanship back in the spotlight. Our products combine soft natural lamb leather from European tanneries, mainly French, with contrasting light materials sourced in France and Italy, from stock, to avoid any unnecessary production. For us, it is important to be able to reduce and reuse materials and accessories throughout our collections.
What are the impact goals of your Brand?
We want to move towards zero waste, which is a big challenge! For now, though, we are focusing on minimal waste. We avoid having materials produced instead we create our collections from fabrics from dormant stocks. We also avoid creating unnecessary stocks, which is why half of our collection is only offered for sale to measure, and the other half is made to order.
How does your brand contribute to the development of your community?
With our brand, we put craftsmanship and tailor-made back in the spotlight. By communicating with transparency about our designs, we are trying to help to raise awareness. After years of fast fashion and now ultra-fast fashion, it is very important to re-educate people on the true value of textile production and the people and communities behind it.
Do you believe your country is on track to fulfilling its sustainability goals?
We believe that the ecological transition deserves to be accelerated in France. The main players today are emerging brands who are aware of the issues. It is up to French legislation to adapt to force established brands to accelerate their transition to sustainable practices both in France and in their outsourced networks. I think it would be useful to introduce taxes on imports and plastic materials, for example, to better regulate the “Made in France” label and to encourage responsible creation/production in our territories by subsidizing it more.
Where do you see Maxine Wattam Paris in 5 years?
Within five years, we want to develop a line of accessories allowing us to repurpose all the scraps of fabric from our clothes that we keep preciously. We are in the development phase for a new type of ready-to-wear product that would entail zero waste to produce. We also hope to create our own workshop/boutique to have a direct relationship with our customers, limit intermediaries as much as possible and be able to always offer the fairest price.
What is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge is to succeed in developing ourselves without making any concessions on our values and commitments. Made in France is expensive, and so are certain distribution strategies. The main challenge for us at this stage is to make the right choices to offer our products at a fair price, which allows us to create new collections.
Having already made waves in the Parisian scene, Maxine Wattam, is ready to share their philosophy and love for conscious fashion globally.
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