Monia started her career as a special educator in the social sector, before moving into the fashion industry. She became aware of upcycling during her fashion studies in London in 2008. Experiences in ready-to-wear clothing brands in Paris highlighted to her the limits of the fashion industry, in particular the environmental and human consequences of producing collections each season. This drove her to consider how to make clothes with a minimal negative impact on people and the environment - Monia launched Super Marché in September 2016, with an accompanying social integration programme. Her collections are sold online and in a boutique in Paris.
Super Marché produces clothes from second-hand items. After three years of developing Super Marché herself, Monia seeks to collaborate with Emmaüs, the first, second-hand textile collector in France (collecting 120,000 tons per year). She aims to create an upcycled clothing brand using their textiles and collaborating with social integration workshops from the organisation. The workshop design will be an open-source base for the organisation, allowing each Emmaüs workshop to develop the line whilst transforming and adding value to second-hand textiles. This is particularly timely, given the recent French law banning clothes destruction.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
I have always been sensitive to my environment and to the human beings around me. I see the world through a lens of justice and balance. These values have guided my decisions in my professional life. I grew up in the 90s with fast fashion arriving when I was a teenager, so I saw the before and the after of consumption in the fashion industry. While studying fashion, I was always interested in social work, and I had the project (that seemed more of a fantasy at the time) that one day I will work on transforming second-hand clothes that no one wanted anymore collaborating with people living social difficulties helping them get back to work.
I came up with Super Marché after working on my own collections with small quantities of upcycled second hand clothes.
Before submitting this project, I met with Emmaüs France team to introduce my work and understand the internal process of second-hand sales. After that, I worked on a collaboration with la Friperie Solidaire d’Emmaüs, developing a collection of upcycled clothes with the workers in their workshop. It quickly came clear that to be able to upcycle larger quantities of clothes, this link with Emmaüs was a great opportunity to scale up.