Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

How a French store is rescuing silk from the bonfire

Spurring a change of heart in the silk industry

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How a French store is rescuing silk from the bonfire

October 18 2010
Sibéal Pounder

It “swapped shops” with Liberty earlier this year and this month Merci – the Parisian not-for-profit concept store – is increasing its interiors cachet with a new line designed by fashion duo Forte Forte. The Silk Saved From The Flames products, made with Mantero silk and ranging from frayed cushions to clothing to upholstered trunks, will benefit Merci’s charity, which distributes profits to organisations working with women and children in Madagascar.

And the products have an additional philanthropic purpose. “Mantero makes silks for many designers, but to protect designs they are forced to burn the unused yardage,” explains Merci’s home director Jean-Luc Colonna. “Tens of thousands of metres of fabric are wasted every year.” Mantero has been operating in this way since 1902, but by disguising the designs, through re-dyeing and covering, Merci hopes to highlight how they can be recycled, and spur change in the industry.

Prices from €8.

First picture: cushion, €150. Second picture: top, €220. Third picture: dress, €320.