[INTERVIEW] Lucile Trouette lives near Bordeaux in France. When she was young, her dream was to be a top-class gymnast. Today, she divides her time between playing tennis and the business she launched making sportswear in natural fibres.
Why make sports shirts in natural fibres?
About 70% of textile fibres worldwide are synthetics made from oil, a non-renewable natural resource that ends up as plastic waste. I’m an optimist and I’m convinced that tomorrow’s fashion will be environmentally responsible. The textile sector is taking this on board. The underlying trends are taking shape slowly, but we’re seeing more and more people in fashion taking care to produce clothes that respect the environment.
Can’t synthetic fibres be recycled?
Most clothes are made of mixed fibres … That mixture makes them difficult to recycle. The material becomes plastic waste. It makes for enormous pollution. Synthetics take between 200 and 500 years to rot. In the region where I live, Nouvelle Aquitaine, 20 tonnes of clothes are thrown away every day. It’s hard to do anything else with them.
What are your sports tops made of?
Lyocell – an artificial fibre made out of wood from sustainable forests. There’s also a bit of organic cotton, which uses very little water, so that it’s comfortable to wear. I’ve put a lot of study into the best possible material for my top and I’ve also surveyed athletes so that it’s good to wear. For now, the fibre comes from trees that grow in South Africa and Austria. But I have my tops made locally here. I really try my best. I aim to do better. It really gets me going!
What should we do to have an environmentally conscious wardrobe?
Change the way we shop: by putting off the moment when clothes become rubbish, by buying clothes second-hand, by thinking of buying small, local labels, by buying local, favouring natural fibres (wool, linen…) We need to learn to read labels!
Are you sporty yourself?
As a child, from 7 until I was 15, I did artistic gymnastics and I dreamed of reaching the top level. That didn’t happen, but sport still has a special place in my life. It’s a philosophy of life! When you join a club, you become part of a community. That’s part of my values. And it’s something where you have to put in a lot of yourself…
…as you do in creating a line of sportswear?
Yes! In making things, I’ve found the same buzz as I got, and still get, from sport. I still do a lot of sport when I’m not designing. It’s a balance. When I took up art and designs, then got into fashion school in Paris, I found there the buzz that I got from sport. In gymnastics, when you create a series of movements, you start up against what is physically possible, just like a blank page. And you have to create something – just like in art and design!
Find out more about Lucile’s company, Unrest, on its web site!