slow fashion show at deuxiÈME COMPTOIR
The fast-fashion industry divides opinion.
Some see it in a positive light, democratising fashion for all, some see it as a plague on the environment, a catastrophic waste and an abuse of humane working conditions in far-flung factories.
If you're of the latter opinion and want to make more effort towards consuming less, yet still stay fashionable, then there are responsible solutions...like this very shop "Le Deuxième Comptoir"! (Second Counter)
This warm and friendly boutique on the Place de la République, is a "deposit sale store" which only sells second-hade clothes.
You deposit your clothes to sell and the shop takes a commission on sales.
At first glance you wouldn't tell, the clothes are as beautifully presented as in a regular shop and it's clean and tidy, no familiar second-hand smell anywhere to be found, it's as fresh as a daisy!
All the clothes are in perfect condition, like new...but with second-hand prices. What better way to look good, be responsible and not break the bank?
Let's meet Fanny and her pretty boutique, second-hand clothes, first-class quality!
The clothes are displayed by colour so it's easier to find what you're looking for. You'd never guess it was second-hand.
It's not the first business 31 year-old Fanny has run.
Previously with her partner she launched "Pomme de Sucre", a range of massage candles made with natural ingredients (available at So Kitch) but it's the first time she's managed a shop.
In 2014 she was looking for a job (not especially in fashion retail) and her boyfriend's old school friend was the founder of this boutique.
She was going to be a part-time sales assistant but she never even started, instead she bought the business when the owner decided to move back down south.
Since then Fanny has been passionate about her new career
"I wasn't really interested in fashion but as soon as I stepped in here, I fell in love with the place"
And I understand....
When I arrived the shop was full of clients chatting and comparing their finds, asking advice, trying clothes on. They looked smitten with what they had found.
There were regular clients as well as new...the atmosphere was welcoming and relaxed, there's certainly no snobbery here.
Nadia, Montreuil resident, 44, loyal client:
"Since I started buying here, I don't really go anywhere else now - here you find some really unique pieces. Today I bought a silk dress, a silk jumpsuit and a Liberty-style jacket. I love the boss, the smiles and the welcome, it's always warm"
What Fanny and Clémence (super sales assistant hired in September) also love about their job is that it's never the same, they can create their own collections with no head office telling them what to do.
They follow fashion and trends but ultimately, as they have surprise, fresh arrivals every week, they can pick and choose the pieces to make up their own collections.
Every day the boutique renews one or 2 items and about every 10 days they have a complete overhaul.
How do they choose the clothes?
They have to be in perfect condition with no stains or smells. The material must be high quality and the cut and colour irreproachable.
The only new things in stock are some handbags and the jewellery
It's by working in the shop that both Fanny and Clémence have become much more aware of the importance of responsible consumption
C:"I don't go through clothes like before. I no longer want to buy everything and anything.
We have to think about what we buy and also keep things for longer.
F: We're more and more attached to this new buying behaviour and our clients are too"
Fanny explained to me that a few years ago some clients didn't want to be seen with the store's bags and asked if they could have another brand's bag to carry the clothes in, they didn't want their friends and colleagues to know they had bought from a second-hand place.
Recently she has seen this mentality disappear and she no longer has this kind of request, clients are now proud to show off the shop's logo
Isaure, 29 Bagnolet:
"I buy here on principal and also to save money. I come from Bagnolet especially. I've stopped going into shops that sell new clothes."
What Fanny also loves are her fellow shop owners in the neighbourhood, there's a community spirit and they help each other out
"Here we send clients to each other's boutiques, we're all really good friends"
Fanny and Clémence have also created close bonds with their customers. For example you can leave a request and if something comes in matching what you are looking for they will give you a ring to let you know.
That's another advantage of local shops, the shopkeepers know and take care of their customers, with extra special care!
In the future Fanny hopes to launch an e-shop and a men's store too as there is a demand for it.
For the moment it's the women of Montreuil (and elsewhere) who are the lucky ones!
Take a look to try and discover that rare find at an unbeatable price.
Not only will you look amazing but you'll also be helping the planet, and boy does she need it at the moment.
For every article sold the shop takes a percentage of the price in commission