Paris hosted its third Ethical Fashion Show last week, attracting around 60 exhibitors - three times more than the inaugural event in 2004 - showing off their ethical fashions and accessories.

The ranges on display were socially and environmentally aware and respectful of traditional ways of production, and the event attracted several thousand visitors and professionals according to organiser, Isabelle Quéhé.

The diverse offer included brands using organic fibres such as the French Ideo and g=9.8; brands created around the traditional know-how of struggling villages (Althéane in the Philippines, India and Nepal, and Capalongas in the Philippines); and brands made from recycled clothes (the Canadian On & On, the American Deborah Lindquist).

French mail order group La Redoute awarded two prizes for companies demonstrating 'fashion, ethic and entrepreneurial spirit,' and a willingness to develop their business "in the long term and for a wider public.'

The two winners were Tudo Bom?, a French sportswear brand manufactured with organic and fair trade fabrics in Brazil, and the British trader Judith Condor-Vidal, who produces ready-to-wear and accessories in many deprived regions of South America, Palestine, India and Bangladesh.

The show was closed by the French Minister of Exterior Commerce, Christine Lagarde, who pointed out that the rising number of ethical brands on the market now presents a regulatory problem for the government.

However, despite the profusion of ethical labels the market accounts for just 0.03% of global consumption, according to the latest estimations.

The dates of the next Ethical Fashion Show have not yet been released as Isabelle Quéhé is considering turning it into a bi-annual show.

By Marie-Hélène Corbin.