Monday, June 21, 2010

Ethical fashion- Noir

The Noir aesthetic is unusually minimal for an eco-fashion label. 50% of their Spring/Summer 07 collection is made from organically certified African cotton and in 2008 they will launch their cotton fabric brand Illuminati II which will supply sub-Saharan cotton to luxury brands. They’ve treated the cotton in many ways to create what they call ‘cotton couture’. The coated cotton gives the impression of rubber with a sexy fetishistic appeal, the starched honeycomb cotton creates interesting shapes, while the cotton silks have a luxurious feel. Apart from creating beautiful clothes Noir has created an ethical collection where a percentage of profits from the clothes go back to Africa to support the cotton workers. The Noir Foundation provides essential medicine and micro loans in a so-called Humane Business Model. "We want to be known as the first brand to turn corporate social responsibility sexy” says Peter Ingwersen the founder of NOIR.IlluminatiII. The label is a member of the U.N. Global Compact adhering to human rights, labour safety, environment and anticorruption politics. It is also affiliated with The International Labour Organization. :: NOIR. Illuminati II.

The Essentials

After having worked as a brand manager at Levi’s and Day, Birger et Mikkelsen, entrepreneur Peter Ingwersen created Danish high fashion label Noir. Modeled by the likes of Shalom Harlow, the brand stands out for its sophistication and sleek sexiness. This has made Noir one of the first eco labels to gain exposure in mainstream fashion magazines such as Vogue and W. Noir’s newly launched men’s and lingerie collections add to the growing luxury eco emporium.


While Noir’s organic cotton shirts are sold out every season, their leather and fur items (by-products that adhere to the standards of Kopenhagen Fur) are equally popular. Their pioneering work in creating organic cotton fabrics has led to the creation of the brand Illuminati II, whose purpose is to produce and sell the finest African cotton to leading luxury brands. A percentage of sales will support African cotton farmers through the Noir foundation.

Danish luxury label Noir has reinvented ethical fashion with sexy, chic, edgy designs and a business model built on social sustainability. Consumers can now look good and feel good at the same time, knowing that even as they indulge in the pursuit of fashion, they are also supporting sustainable business in the Third World.

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