In Darkness all Colours Agree.
This is the mantra and design philosophy of luxury level ethical brand “noir” which was started by Dane Peter Ingwersen in 2006 to “turn social responsibility sexy.”
Gone is the granola hippie hemp of ethical days past, as now, socially conscious shopping is not exclusive to the dreadlocked fisherman’s pant wearers of the world. Not that there is anything wrong with fisherman’s pants, or dreadlocks. Just not both at once...
Consumers not only demand high quality, but in light of all of the discord and guilt that the fashion industry and its patrons have felt in recent years, they expect to feel they are doing good by buying and wearing what they do. Not many people would be proud to wear a jacket that was hand stitched by a blind 6 year old in an Indian slum and dyed with the blood of a gorilla and that poisoned a 30 mile section of the Indian Ocean. Accordingly, Noir has started a positive trend ensuring that you can be proud to gossip about how your clothing was produced.
Peter Ingwersen also started the ethical luxury cotton production Illuminati II – “From the heart of Africa.” The stunning cottons produced in Uganda are used in Noir’s collections, as well as by other high end brands that are becoming more socially conscious themselves. Illuminati II ensures that its cotton farmers get paid fair wages receive medical care and do not allow for child labour.
Noir and Illuminati II are recognised by the UN, the ILO Conventions and the ICC’s Business Charter for Sustainable development. Ingwersen not only adheres to the guidelines of these organisations as part of his business model and as his personal mission, but also as inspiration for his collections. For example, Noir’s SS 08 collection was inspired by Corporate Social Responsibility and the transparency that a company has to have to be known as socially responsible. The collection reflected Ingwersen’s inspiration through the transparent fabrics used and the ability to see everything underneath.
Noir’s design philosophy is dark, sexy and sculptured, with a splash of S & M (and I don’t mean Sausages and Mash.) Doing the right thing makes a woman feel good, but it is an amazing feat to make a woman feel good on the inside AND look amazing on the outside, and Noir manages this with striking, socially responsible panache.
Now pass me my faux leather whip - I am going shopping.