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In 1984, Evelyne Chetrite and her husband, Didier, founded the French fashion brand Sandro. The industry was much different in the 1980s, but it has only grown to be more inclusive and expressive. Today, many that love both style and the planet are also looking for a more transparent and honest message—a focus on sustainable practices, and how brands are diligent with those efforts behind the scenes.
Since its founding, Sandro has provided the fashion community with smart silhouettes and tidy styles—and now they’re focused on dressing its customers in transparency. Last year, the brand stopped using fur, and by the end of this year, has plans to have nearly all men’s and women’s jersey materials to be made with GOTS-certified organic cotton.
Today, Founder and Artistic Director Evelyne is also adjusting to the new normal we’re all experiencing—creating in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopeful for what’s to come in the future, Chetrite is also creating positivity and relief with Sandro by crafting masks and providing meals to healthcare workers, and creating a new shirt design for additional proceeds.
Whitewall spoke with Chetrite about how she is doing in isolation, how Sandro’s becoming more sustainable, and how the Spring/Summer 2020 collection is foreshadowing the future.
WHITEWALL: How are you doing amid COVID-19?
EVELYNE CHETRITE: We’re continuing to take things one day at a time and are so thankful for the men and women who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. As a company, our first priority has been the health and safety of our employees, clients, and communities.
WW: Tell us a bit about creating masks at your production sites.
EC: Now more than ever we have faith in the strength of the collective effort, because only together can we overcome this hardship. We heard of the need for the cloth masks for non-medical workers, so we mobilized the teams to produce these using excess fabric stock from previous collections. We’re producing 10,000 masks that will be distributed in France, around Europe, and also in the U.S.
In addition, we wanted to support local healthcare workers, so we’ll be donating breakfast to hospitals around Europe and in the U.S. We launched this initiative at a hospital in Madrid on Friday, March 27, and we’ll continue this each following Friday in different cities—including Paris, London, Berlin, and New York to name a few.
EC: Today, each of us must be confined, but more than ever, we must move forward together. So, in the spirit of collective action, we invited the Sandro Instagram community to participate with selecting the women’s t-shirt design. Both the women’s and men’s design studios wanted to reinforce this strong belief by writing it in capital letters.
The t-shirts will be sold online, of which 100% of proceeds will be donated to support those affected globally. We are convinced that every action counts—sometimes even the simplest.
WW: Tell us a bit about what Sandro is working on now.
EC: Right now, we’re committed to protecting the safety and wellbeing of our teams. In addition, we’re implementing initiatives to provide material support and show our appreciation for those affected by COVID-19. These are our major concerns and we feel compelled to contribute in some way. We’re also looking for alternate ways to keep our internal teams connected through different social media initiatives.
WW: Sandro has been around since 1984. Can you tell us a bit about how the brand has evolved?
EC: When I first created the brand with my husband, we started in a small studio in the heart of Le Marais. Then, after seeing the success of womenswear, our son created the menswear line, Sandro Homme. As we’ve continued to evolve and grow, and especially upon reflection now, it has become clear that nothing would have been possible without shared passion, and above all, collective determination.
WW: Tell us a bit about what makes up Sandro’s DNA.
EC: Sandro was created within a beautiful family history and that spirit has always been the core of our brands. Each season, we strive to always ensure our clients are happy and inspired by every Sandro piece they purchase and wear. I want women to feel beautiful and comfortable at the same time. With every collection, I keep in mind the Sandro woman. She is confident and independent; she is effortlessly elegant and sometimes androgynous with feminine style sensibilities.
WW: How is the brand responding to the recent uprise in customers yearning for sustainability and transparency?
EC: Sustainability is key for our brand and we’re rightly expected to be transparent. It begins as an internal mindset and we’re committed to building an authentic sustainable development strategy aligned with our parent company, SMCP.
In particular, we have focused on our materials. In 2019, we stopped using fur. We also have our fabrics tested by REACH, our leathers certified by Leather Working Group and our wools certified by RWS. By the end of 2020, we plan to have 100 percent of the men’s jersey and 80 percent of the women’s jersey to be made with organic cotton certified by GOTS and we’ll be implementing EIM to assess the wash process of all of the men’s denim.
WW: Tell us a bit about Sandro’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection.
EC: The Spring/Summer 2020 collection was inspired by the blend of Paris and New Delhi style. The collection features a rich color palette and embellished accents paired with feminine silhouettes and airy neutral linens. The floral prints, especially, remind me to be hopeful of what’s blooming in the future.