Mad About Paris, Much more than a guide
Centre Commercial? To French ears this sounds like a big shopping mall out there in the suburbs. It sounds like carts full of junk food and T-Shirts sewed together by minors in South-East Asian sweat shops. But we are far from this. This Centre Commercial here is a fair trade concept store where you can shop with a green and clear conscience.
The founders of the Centre Commercial – who have been successfully producing ecological sneakers, Veja, for a couple of years – love irony. The name is actually a reference to the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler who worked a lot on mass consumption.
You’ve probably already got the picture: shopping here means you’re supporting sustainable activities, plus, it makes you more intelligent. A really fair trade, I would say.
The 150 square meter shop not only features clean and green fashion labels from France, Denmark, Great Britain. You also can buy books, magazines and DVDs for your intellectual and cultural education. The founders really wanted to combine what’s close to their hearts: fashion with artistic projects and environmental concerns.
Frédéric, one of the very committed sales assistants, gave me a guided tour, showing me the lovely woollens from Denmark (S.N.S. Herning), espadrilles from the South of France, a parker from the British label Heritage Research. “For every label and brand we have”, Frédéric said, “I can tell you where and how the product has been produced.”
If you need any proof that you can dress yourself from head to toe in a green, fair and fashionable way, here it is. And don’t be surprised to see old furniture and dishes and a couple of very vintage looking bicycles: it’s part of the deal. The bicycles are collected and restored by the charity Atelier Sans Frontières, an association just outside Paris that helps people reintegrate into society. And the furniture is sourced and revamped by an Parisian antique dealer.Centre Commercial 2, rue de Marseille 75010 Paris