Running a Sustainable Fashion Brand with Lâcher Prise

Lâcher Prise Sustainable Fashion Brand
By Felix Bassant
When Marine Delmau left the fashion industry in the early 2010s, she was at a crossroads. Having fallen out of love with much of the industry, personal matters forced her to reconsider what was important. After time away to reflect and meditate, she launched Lâcher Prise in 2015, a New York based sustainable fashion brand proudly tapping into her French heritage, whilst being resolutely forward-facing. In conversation with Aequem, Marine discusses her journey so far, and why sustainable fashion brands are so important.

Running a Sustainable Fashion Brand with Lâcher Prise

Hi Marine, I hope you’re well, it’s great to speak to you. Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself and what motivated you to launch a sustainable fashion brand?
Hey! My journey started maybe 6 years ago; I was the assistant to a designer. But I didn’t feel in the right place, I didn’t feel a connection with it. I also went through something really personal for me, so I took a break from the fashion world. I didn’t think it was enough to just create fashion even though that was my passion. I just wanted something stronger, I focused a lot on meditation, self-healing, a lot of things that provided a lot of connection to my inner self. 
I’ve read a lot of books and watched a lot of documentaries about sustainability. It’s interesting because I did school, but sustainability wasn’t a thing back then, so I made sure to educate myself on it. We were producing everything in Vietnam, and watching all of this opened my eyes. It came to me that I want to create something that’s deeper, where you have a greater connection to the clothes and the inner self. I wanted Lâcher Prise to be the catalyst to finding your inner freedom, the clothes are so soft you wrap yourself in this nest of cosiness. You feel good and free in your mind through the clothes, all through a system that’s sustainable, ethical and not hurting the earth. We're always longing for new ways to improve ourselves.
You started Lâcher Prise in 2015. Have you noticed a change in attitudes to sustainability in the fashion industry since you began?
A massive change. Now sustainability seems like the norm, but back then it was a bit of an Avant Garde thing to do! I think in the last two or three years, especially, it’s become the norm, which is beautiful. It’s not a trend, it’s what the future holds for every industry, not just fashion. Platforms like Aequem, which are just dedicated to ethical, sustainable fashion brands, competing with the big brands.
Even in the production side of massive fashion conglomerates, there’s huge overproduction, things being thrown out because they’re not selling. When we at Lâcher Prise have a larger customer base in the future, I’d love to go with a pre-order system. I think that’s the ideal business model and I really think that’s what the future holds. But the sustainable change is real, the change was needed, and it’s beautiful where we’re going! These smaller ethical brands, we’re not competition, we’re working together.
Lâcher Prise Unisex Tencel and Organic Cotton Exode Trench Coat in White
How did you develop your aesthetic?
My connection was first personal with what I like to wear. I think primarily I like cosy, I like comfort, and I want things that I can wear everywhere, so that I won’t be disturbed by it. I also love disrupting gender norms, I would wear most of the things from my partner’s closet, I love that idea of sharing clothes. It mostly came from the material I fell in love with, MicroModal, how silky and soft it was, looking into if it came from sustainable resources.
We started our designs with draping, because it’s all about that ripple effect; we’re inspired by the elements. We designed in many different ways - long sleeves, tank tops - whilst also staying true to our staple draping. Our last collection was inspired by fire and the desert, and our underwear line is inspired by the clouds and air. We would love to do the next collection with water!
Sustainable fashion brands like yours use an interesting combination of sustainable materials. You've mentioned them a bit but can you expand on the materials you use and why?
Our main material is MicroModal. It’s from a small, local supplier in Long Island, New York, where everything is done in house. We mostly use their in-stock inventory. We’ve been working with them since the beginning, from our first small orders to much bigger quantities, where we’re at right now. We’ve got that personal connection. To make MicroModal, they cut the tree up into tiny shreds and that’s why the material is so silky and so soft. This is the innovation that I’ve seen massive progress in in the past few years.
We also use Tencel, the sister material of MicroModal. 
We would love to go towards organic cotton, to work with linens in our next collection. The number one thing we’re looking for in our fabric is the softness. If it doesn’t have that draping, we can’t be true to our value of the softest fabric possible. 
Lâcher Prise Modal and Stratus Underwear
Transparency is rare in the fashion industry, but it’s something you’re passionate about. Why is honesty and transparency so important for sustainable fashion?
Being transparent, it’s one of the key values of sustainability. If you’re hiding something, it means something sketchy is going on behind the scenes. So, what you see on labels doesn’t show where it really comes from, because there’s so many parts in the supply chain. When you find out the supply chain can come through 10 different countries all across the world, just to get that one T-shirt. Being transparent, you have to tell customers the journey that that garment took before it got into their hands. I think that’s why it’s so important to be transparent.
What sustainable initiatives does Lâcher Prise currently use which differentiates you from other sustainable brands?
We launched a take-back initiative, that’s something we literally just worked on. It’s been on my mind for a while, so I just did some research on which places in New York, where we could find recycled facilities for our clothing, because I think donation is being abused too. Everyone’s donating, it ends up in landfill in another country. The take-back programme has so many layers and aspects to it where it could end up. We’d rather we’re the ones who know where it’s going to go, so if your product has been overused, which we hope it has after years of use, you can send it back and we’ll provide a discount on future purchases and we’ll make sure to donate it or give it to a programme. Either it’ll be donated, or shredded and used for rags or insulation. It’s something we’re working on, it’s at the initial stage. But as we grow, knowing this is an initiative we have, this is something that could be big.
TreeApp is another programme we use, where if you spend 50 dollars, we plant one tree. So if you buy our most expensive product, our jacket, for 500 dollars, you would plant 10 trees. In our process, we take a tree from the Earth to use as our materials. So it’s good that at the end, we’re also planting one. It creates that perfect cycle, we want the vision of Lâcher Prise to be fully circular. 
What’s next for Lâcher Prise? And, more broadly, where do you see sustainable fashion brands going over the next couple of years?
I think sustainability will be the norm. The biggest fashion houses are pledging to be fully sustainable - let’s see if it’s not greenwashing. But yeah, I think it’ll be the norm. I think it’ll be much more available and a lot more cost efficient. We want to continue producing things locally, so you get more expensive clothing. But maybe that’s a step towards people being more respectful with their garments, they won’t just wear it one time and toss it. They know they have that connection with it and they’ll have it in their closet for their whole life. I really hope there’s a greater voice for the smaller brands.
Lâcher Prise Liberte
What’s the key piece from Lacher Prise every Aequem customer should have?
There are a few but I’ll go with our essential collection, because i think it’s something you can wear everyday, and accessorise it any way. Our clothes all have these hidden messages which are about versatility and being multi-functional. The Liberte is the first top we started with. you can wear it as a rollneck, or have it with a hood, or turn it upside down and have it as a beach coverup dress. We’ve got 10 different ways of wearing your Liberte. You don't need 10 different dresses, you just need one that can do everything.
I’d also go to our Epache top, because that’s more unisex, something you can share with your partner or your friend. It has an open sleeve, it’s sporty but classy, with pants or shirt or shorts. I’m wearing shorts right now with this top because it’s like 30 degrees here in New York!
Thank you Marine for taking the time to speak to us! You can shop a selection of Lâcher Prise clothes below or shop all here:
Lâcher Prise Collage
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Lâcher Prise Collage
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This interview is part of a series with Aequem's brand partners. To discover more, check out our interview with Gina Melosi here!
Gina Melosi Interview Link Lacher Prise

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