When faced with the double bind of paying high prices for designer clothes which are produced by underpaid workers in developing countries, more and more fashionistas turn to those designers, who offer a guilt free alternative. Being that Danish design is known for its problem-solving innovation, it hardly comes as a surprised that Peter Ingerwersen and his label Noir have set the bar high for corporate social responsibility in the garment industry.
When consumers and designers decided to start making this world a better place, organic fashion looked like a hippie-esque joke for out-of-shape women in their late fifties. Choices were between sweatshop high-end fashion or eco awareness, potato-sack style.
Danish design label Noir was one of the first to combine the distinctive national fashion sense with ethically produced and organic fabrics. Today there are many designers who have gone down that route and allow high-income earners to vote against third world exploration with their credit card.
The trademark of Noir is its cutting edge approach to fashion. The style is never compromised by its eco-friendly nature, and especially the rawness in the rock'n roll comeback times stands out. Sassiness comes along in neutral shades and with lots of metallic sparkle and sharp tailoring at the high end, while the diffusion line Noir Black caters to the younger and less affluent crowd, making eco friendly dressing an individual right. The designs for this line are more edgy, yet the classic cleanness of Noir is still visible. After all, Peter Ingwersen, founder and head designer of the label, has his eyes on all design processes and makes sure that his credo is followed.
While going through the growing pains of establishing a corporate socially responsible fashion brand, Ingwersen also founded Illuminati II, which is a cotton fabric brand that caters to a wide range of labels that work with eco friendly fabrics. Grown in Uganda and woven in Turkey, strictly adhering to the principles of the UN Global Impact, this luxurious fair trade cotton allows for high-end fashion that unburdens the social conscience of the consumer.
It is safe to say that Peter Ingwersen with his label Noir has pushed the boundaries of what was considered possible in ethical fashion only a decade ago and it comes as no surprise that a powerhouse of ideas like this has grown out of the Danish fashion world.
Peter Ingwersen in cotton field, Gulu district, Uganda