The initials A.P.C. stand for Atelier de Production et de Création: "Production and Creation Studio." Without Creation, a garment will have no soul. Without Production, Creation ativity without extravagance, which is at the heart of A.P.C.'s identity. The Atelier, the Creation Studio and the Production department jointly create carefully designed, durable garments that customers can enjoy weis nothing more than an idea. Jean Touitou insists on this crearing for a long time.
WHEN DID SUSTAINABILITY START AT A.P.C. ?
Jean Touitou has always striven to avoid waste and to reuse offcuts. Various recycling projects and programmes have been put in place over time to actively reduce A.P.C.'s carbon footprint.
1987 A.P.C. is founded
2005 Upcycled tote bags
2008 Butler programme
2010 Creation of quilts
2018 Recycling project
2020 "Anti-waste law for a circular economy"
2021 Recycled/ recyclable packaging
WHAT MATERIALS DOES A.P.C. USE ?
A.P.C. primarily uses traditional materials. The ready-to-wear collections are mainly composed of natural fibres, with a great deal of wool and cotton. Our raw denim has remained unchanged since the brand's inception, thus avoiding highly-polluting stone washing processes. We favour vegetable tanning, which is 90% less polluting than chrome tanning, for production of accessories. The proportion of organically-grown cotton in our collections increases every season. A.P.C. has made a commitment to totally stop using fur, and to only use feathers from suppliers that certify their ethical origin.
WHO ARE A.P.C.'s INDUSTRIAL PARTNERS ?
For several years, A.P.C. has been performing social audits of its suppliers. The aim is to assist them in an ongoing improvement process.
WHAT IS A.P.C.'s INVOLVMENT IN THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY ?
In France, since 2020, fabric recycling has been a legal obligation. Since 1992, A.P.C. has been active in the recycling of unused clothing and fabrics. A programme launched in 2018 allows A.P.C. customers to return their old A.P.C. clothing to our stores in exchange for a credit note. The returned products are donated to charitable organisations to be sold in a network of charity shops.
HOW DOES A.P.C.'s RECYCLING PROGRAMME WORK ?
A.P.C.'s recycling programme allows all customers to return their old A.P.C. clothing to our stores in exchange for a credit note valid for 6 months. The programme is implemented in all of A.P.C.'s Paris stores. It is not available in department stores nor on the e-commerce site. The programme concerns all A.P.C. products from the ready-to-wear and shoe collections (excluding accessories) that customers wish to donate.
RATE SCHEDULE FOR RETURNED CLOTHING
Coats and jackets
Shoes, dresses, jumpsuits, other items
T-shirts, sweatshirts, joggers
A.P.C. reserves the right to refuse to take back a product if its condition is not in conformity with our requirements, or if its origin is uncertain. The value of a credit note is applicable to the price (including VAT) displayed in stores.
For more information, please contact A.P.C. customer care, by phoning + 33 (0)1 53 63 43 79, or by clicking here.
WHY DID JEAN TOUITOU WANT TO INTRODUCE THE RECYCLING PROJECT IN OUR STORES ?
“When I was a little boy in Tunis, one thing really intrigued me.
Amidst the constant ballet of street vendors, each pushing a sort of huge wheelbarrow in front of them, there were two who were not selling anything, but rather, were salvaging things. Each of these merchants or collectors had a slogan. The one who collected clothing said "roba vecchia" (old stuff) or simply "vecchia" (stuff). The one collecting old bread said something else, which I don't remember offhand, but this was this one who intrigued me the most. Where on earth could these old pieces of bread be going? It was only later that I understood: these leftovers were used in cooking, to add a certain consistency. A truly satisfying meatball must be made with old bread.
This spirit of salvaging things has always been part of my life, and we develop it at A.P.C. via quilts, Butlers or tote bags. So naturally, the idea came up to offer our customers the opportunity to bring their "roba vecchia" back to A.P.C. This gives those garments a second life and helps people who don't necessarily have the means to wear good quality clothes.
More generally, objects, things, disappear too quickly, and it's sad because we get attached to them, while an animal species may take millions of years to disappear, and some people hardly seem to care.
Without going too far into the notion of fetishizing objects and ill-considered love for material things, one can legitimately think that everything disappears too quickly, whereas everything, or almost everything, can still be reused. - Jean Touitou
WHAT HAPPENS TO LEFT-OVER FABRIC ?
Fabric remnants are transformed into tote bags for special events such as the opening of new stores. The smallest bits, or scraps, are assembled by hand to create quilts, designed by Jessica Ogden for A.P.C. since 2010. Each model is made in a very limited edition.
IS A.P.C. PACKAGING SUSTAINABLE ?
A.P.C.'s new packaging is recycled, recyclable and reusable. It is made from rPET, a polyester sourced from plastic bottles. Two different bags and three pouches are available for a fixed price (€1/£1/$1/10DKK). All of this money is donated to the GoodPlanet Foundation.
CAN DENIM BE ECO-RESPONSIBLE ?
Since its inception, A.P.C. has placed great value on raw, unwashed denim. In 2008, Jean Touitou launched the Butler program. A.P.C.'s Butler jeans are raw denim jeans that have been worn for a long time by a customer and have washed out naturally. They start a second life when that customer brings it back to the store. The customer gets a 50% discount on a new pair of jeans and gives back his or her Butler jeans, which can then be purchased and worn by someone else, once they are washed and mended. Circular economy: the jeans gain value because they have been worn. A.P.C. is also working on producing a more sustainable fabric and uses lasers as much as possible rather than stone-washing our jeans.
WHAT HAPPENS TO A.P.C.'s UNSOLD GOODS ?
In 1992, A.P.C. opened its first Surplus store in the heart of Paris to offer its unsold goods at reduced prices. The Surplus stores are now located in the 18th arrondissement, on rue André Del Sarte, at the foot of the Butte-Montmartre, and on rue Jacob in the 6th arrondissment. Since 2018, A.P.C. Surplus has also been accessible online: https://www.apc.fr/surplu-s.html
HOW DO WE WORK AT A.P.C. ?
When recruiting, A.P.C. values human qualities as much as skills. For Jean Touitou, the notion of active collaboration is essential, and harmonious social relations are an indispensable objective for A.P.C., which he views as "a realistic utopia." From all points of view, both creative and human, A.P.C. aims to be a collective.
WHAT HAS COVID-19 CHANGED AT A.P.C. ?
To address the difficulties arising from the Covid-19 health crisis, several concrete actions have been implemented: regular newsletters have been sent to all staff worldwide to explain the situation and to give everyone some perspectives. In France, three sessions of psychological support from a professional psychologist were offered to all employees wishing to participate. The wellness and mental health of A.P.C.'s entire staff have become the focus of specific programmes and training, such as in-company meditation workshops. In addition, in order to strengthen team cohesion, which is sometimes undermined by teleworking, employees could volunteer to participate temporarily in the activities of departments other than their own, to better understand the issues and challenges facing their colleagues.
WHAT ARE A.P.C.'s SOLIDARITY ACTIONS ?
Since June 2021, A.P.C. sells its packaging, two different bags and three pouches, for a fixed price (€1/£1/$1/10DKK). This money is donated entirely to the GoodPlanet Foundation. That organisation was founded by Yann Arthus-Bertrand in 2005. It strives to be ecological and humanistic and to raise awareness among individuals and institutions, encouraging them to take concrete action to protect the Earth and its inhabitants.
A.P.C. has teamed up with the Sakina M'Sa brand and the Trevo integration workshop. Sakina M'Sa creates exclusively from recycled fabrics. Her work with A.P.C. features colourful patches. The result of this joint project is shown on her website. Sales of these items contribute to the development of this solidarity-based company whose mantra is "integration through beauty." She has been supporting vulnerable individuals since 2008.
A.P.C. is a sponsor of the Convention Education Prioritaire programme at Sciences-Po Paris. This selective recruitment pathway is dedicated to students from disadvantaged high schools classified as "high priority." In particular, A.P.C. provides mentoring to two students during each academic year.
WHAT GOES ON IN A.P.C.'s LUNCHROOM ?
A.P.C.'s lunchroom is also a place for meetings. It's where everyone chats and gets together. This is also where little things happen: throwing away papers (individual bins have been abolished in the offices), preparing coffee (capsule machines have been replaced by bean-to-cup machines), filling water bottles (plastic water bottles and cups have been banned), etc. A.P.C.'s transformation starts in the lunchroom!