Natural environment finally becomes a serious topic of discussion for fashion brands. Brands work to meet customer expectations for low-impact clothing. Paradis Perdus proudly puts the planet first using fully recycled materials. This brand is a place where fashion meets consciousness.
Please introduce yourself. Tell us why you decided to create Paradis Perdus?
I’m Thomas Poli, I grew up on a farm in Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean Sea. I worked in fashion in Paris and New York for more than a decade After that, together with a few partners, we decided to rethink the way fashion is produced. Sadly, it is the second most polluting industry that significantly contributes to a suffering of our planet. We’ve studied a lot and worked with specialists trying to create fashion with the lowest possible impact on natural environment. We did not do it in a greenwashing manner which we see too often in the industry, but in the most honest way, in order to lower our impact on the planet as much as possible. That’s how we came up with an idea to use 100% recycled fibres and materials, and also repurpose what already exists on the planet.
What quote do you live by?
‘Be a good person and good things happen’. It is a quote from Gary Vee, a person that I find very inspiring in his business/life approach. We aren’t here, on earth, for very long, let’s just make the best out of it.
What has been the highest and lowest point on your journey so far?
We’re getting loads of positive feedback from people around the world. They’re sharing their hopes for a better future. For us, it is comforting and it reminds us that we’re doing the right thing. My dad unfortunately passed away the week we launched Paradis Perdus and this has been the most challenging time for me. I’m very thankful I have the most amazing friends who helped me get through. They’re giving me the strength to pursue this very inspiring journey.
When there are setbacks how do you continue to stay motivated?
One step after another. It’s very easy to become overwhelmed by all the things waiting to be done and how overwhelming it looks. It’s a dangerous path! Since the beginning, I am taking one day at a time, focusing on each and every task -- then I look back at my week and it feels like a month has passed.
How long does it take to finish a product, from the initial design to the finished creation?
From the first design to a complete, ready to be worn garment, we need about a year. We work with amazing ateliers and factories in Italy and Portugal that I’ve known for more than 10 years. Beginning with the selection and the test of the fibres, through the different garment prototypes and fittings, and finally finishing with the time to carefully produce each garment, we need between 10 and 12 months.
Describe a typical day in your life.
I start my day by walking my dog and doing my meditation – it definitely helps me stay on a track for the rest of the day. Each day is very different and that’s the magic of entrepreneurship. There is a lot of communication with the factories, the suppliers and the mills about new development, pending orders. That takes a good amount of time. We handle the shipments from our studio and I make sure to always send a personal note with each order. I also keep at least two moments each week to discuss different types of sustainable actions and approaches. I’m trying to talk to many new people. It is very motivating to see that there are a lot of us out there working for a better future.
Where do you see yourself and Paradis Perdus in five years?
I believe that five years from now honesty and transparency in won’t be an option but an absolute necessity in fashion. It will be requested by every customer. We are at a turning point in fashion and my goal is to really develop the recycling process of fibres and set up new facilities in the places where most of the discarded garments are sent and often end up in landfills. I hope we will be on this path five years from now and that the awakening regarding the urgency of the situation will happen.
Which pieces in your collection do you think are must-haves for our readers?
The very essence of Paradis Perdus is that we create garments we want to wear and we can see our friends wearing. So, of course, as we carefully created and selected them, it’s hard for me to choose! But for sure, our Celestin is really the perfect Breton sweater that your kids will still love to have years from now, and as I love bold graphics, Jules & Joseph are amazing statement sweaters.
If you could give one piece of advice to our readers, what would it be?
Don’t take brands’ and business’ words for granted. Question if what is presented to you is the truth and be mindful of the marketing sentences that makes you believe some things.
How do you define success?
Happiness. I’ve seen some people going to work scared or miserable because of their work environment. Life is way too short to waste the potential this way. We must be doing what really makes us happy. That is for sure my conception of success.
What is the part of your life experience you would alter if you had the chance to?
I’m a big believer. I’m convinced that everything happens for a reason and that tough moments are lessons that will be helpful at one point in the future. I wouldn’t necessarily alter any part of my past.
Shop the collection here: PARADIS PERDUS
And check the official instagram: @PARADISPERDUSNYC