“nobody buys a pair of jeans because they want a sustainable jeans butt, they always want a sexy jeans butt!”
Danish sustainable fashion brand Blanche is just two years fresh off its launch in the spring of 2017. Yet here they are, already well-established in the European fashion scene, with multiple features on fashion magazines, including one with Vogue.
Armed with an interesting arsenal of the denim-based pieces, they were even one of the highlights of the Copenhagen Fashion Week SS20. And it seems that this is only just the beginning of what is shaping up to be a colorful run.
Founded by Mette Fredin, who acts as the brand’s creative director, and Melissa Bech, its commercial director, Blanche was established as a sustainable denim brand. The duo’s collaboration started when they met in a business get-together. Expressing mutual interests in denim, womenswear, and sustainable fashion, Fredin and Bech then chose the word ‘blanche’ - the French term for ‘white’ - as the name for their young label.
Blanche’s philosophy can be summed up as “a holistic approach to timelessness in fashion.” Recognizing that denim is one of the most resource-intensive materials in fashion, Blanche has dedicated itself to producing ethical alternatives. In keeping with this outlook, their products are made from organic, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified, and surplus fabrics which are reworked with creative upcycling. The cotton they use are sustainable ones such as BCI-cotton. They also produce long-lasting products as a response to most fast-fashion pieces that are usually disposable after a season or two.
Blanche is also sincere in improving transparency in its supply chain. Their fabric is supplied by the Turkish supplier CALIK which is dedicated to the highest ethical business practices and is deliberate in choosing their partners and suppliers. Blanche has also limited its production in Europe to ensure that every aspect of the production line follows the EU's regulations such as Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and international labor standards regulated by the ILO (International Labour Organisation).
The brand also has an ongoing corporate social responsibility campaign. The words ‘reduce, longevity, and fairness’ guide the eco fashion company’s ethics. Aside from making their processes more sustainable, they also advocate women’s rights, especially in the fashion industry where as much as 80 percent of workers are women.
Blanche, however, is not all about advocacy. It is, first and foremost, a fashion label. The brand’s ‘timeless’ aspirations enable it to develop its unique aesthetic. In an interview with Panorama Cosmos, Blanche’s founders said that “nobody buys a pair of jeans because they want a sustainable jeans butt, they always want a sexy jeans butt!” This balanced approach keeps the brand grounded and relevant.
For example, their Autumn-Winter 2019 collection showed “an appreciation of industrial references and functional elements.” The collection was inspired by modern, ready-to-wear designs with sharp silhouettes and a wide variety of textures. Meanwhile, their Spring-Summer 2020 collection celebrates the diversity of women’s body types with an array of suits, knitwear, sweaters, corduroys, and even a set of overalls.
The brand has also recently branched off to womenswear in general with a new line called Blanche Atelier. This fashion workshop, described by the founding duo as their ‘playground’, is where the brand experiments with ‘accessible, well-made’ designs. Veering away from seasonal trends, the Blanche Atelier line is more focused on modern designs that take stylistic cues from their primary line. They use pure cashmere, pure merino, and leather for a dash of character. But their designs are not for grand gestures, but for tasteful and timeless statements. As Blanche moves forward, they are looking to acquire more certifications such as the Swan label and other similar stamps to further legitimize their sustainable identity. Nonetheless, it seems that the clean state that Blanche started with is now teeming with promise.
As the next season looms, Blanche is certainly one of the brands that are worth looking forward to.