Neiwa: the responsible shop from Toulouse
Located right in the heart of Toulouse, concept store Neiwa brings a breath of fresh to the city in the form of slow fashion. Jean-Baptiste, manager of the shop, tells us all about his commitment to more responsible fashion and his desire to showcase the local savoir-faire.
Hi Jean-Baptiste! To begin, we’re quite curious about the name of your shop; where does it come from?
It came about during a brainstorming session. It’s new, and doesn’t have any particular meaning, even though we do like its similarities with “NEW”. It’s a new vision of fashion: slow fashion. Our philosophy is to act and work with designers and brands that highlight the local savoir-faire, taking into account social and environmental criteria.
Neiwa has existed for nearly eight years now. We know that you like everything local. How have you managed to durably implement your shop in the Toulouse region?
We opened our tiny shop in December 2008, and offered brands, such as Olow, that straight away appealed to a young clientele looking for fashion in harmony with their values. In 2013, we moved to a larger place and expanded our offer, still only focusing on menswear.
Your slogan “Responsible is beautiful”, tells us you want to give meaning to your concept. What is the aim of your shop then?
The aim of the shop is to offer a selection of brands for men that manage to integrate local, social and/or environmental dimensions to their creations. All the brands we present are selected in order to offer a complete, quality wardrobe destined to a demanding clientele concerned with cuts and materials.
What is your Green ritual in order to limit your environmental footprint on your scale?
We pay attention to the consumables we buy, we worked on the layout of the shop using a maximum of reusable materials, and we’re about to change our energy operator to Enercoop, a renewable energy supplier.
You created your e-shop a few weeks ago. Why did you decide to launch yourself on the web?
We already had an online shop but it was old. Like we did with the shop, we needed to rejuvenate the website. And we did it, which enables us to give our clients a look into what we offer, but also to enlarge our clientele.
What life does a guy who shops at Neiwa lead?
The guy who buys his clothes here is between 25 and 35 years old; he is fashion-savvy and reads the labels. He’s a city guy who’s interested by urban culture and loves discovering the new music he hears in the shop.
How do you organise the decoration in your shop?
The layout and decoration were completely reviewed this summer. Our style is a lot cleaner, with central islands, and we kept our wardrobes along the walls. We make sure we bring in new stuff regularly so as to always surprise the clients.
Any funny anecdote you could tell us about the shop?
That one time we saw Jamel waving to us behind the shop window!
What drew you to Olow?
In the beginning, your over-packed Picasso parked in front of the shop when you came to present your collection to us in Toulouse, a few years back! The artistic aspect attracted us straight away, the beautiful cuts and the fact everything is made in Europe.
Do you have an unusual place where you like to relax in the “ville rose”?
To relax during the summer, the banks of the Garonne are ideal if you want to chill in the sun with your mates… Good thing they’re right behind the shop!
A big thank to Jean-Baptiste for his answers.
You can find Neiwa 7 rue Sainte Ursule, Toulouse, France.