Published on : 16/08/2020 – 12:12
The young Ashoka leather goods brand, founded in 2018 by Gwenaëlle Ferlicot and Frederic Vergoz, was created around respect for animal life and beautiful materials. The two co-founders decided to change the lines of traditional leather goods by focusing on recycled materials.
Models of bags made from fruit waste, lined with material from recycled water bottles, for Gwenaëlle Ferlicot, CEO and co-founder ofAshoka Paris, the choice of materials is important for alternative leather goods. « I founded with my partner the brand Ashoka Paris which is an ethical, eco-responsible and vegan leather goods brand. »
The brand name is a nod to the Indian emperor who adopted the nonviolent principles of Buddhism and spread vegetarianism. ” Ashoka was an Indian emperor, a bloodthirsty warrior, who after 27 years of rule decided not to go to war anymore and not to kill any more men or animals. For us, he is the father of vegetarianism. This corresponded to our desire to make leather goods without killing animals. »
From consumer to responsible manufacturer
When Gwenaëlle Ferlicot, who has become a vegetarian, for the sake of animal welfare, no longer wants to wear leather, she has the choice between models labeled vegan but which do not correspond to her aesthetic tastes or, as her companion suggests, to create the brand of leather goods vegan she dreams of. « It was especially a trigger for Fred who has a very creative mind. I am much less so. In the leather goods market, I found bags that met my expectations because they were vegan, but very expensive, Gwenaëlle Ferlicot explains to us. Before adding, a real challenge for a creative like him, he said to himself “there is something to do, there are models of bags to offer.” And there he started to boil, he started to draw, and then it was gone ».
From its beginnings in 2018, to design its bags, Ashoka uses organic materials. They are the first to develop in France, theApple skin or “apple skin”, a matter made from fruit waste from Italy. The inner lining is made from recycled plastic bottles.
Materials that immediately met their audience and won prizes. « The PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) association has awarded us three prizes in the space of two years, which is pretty crazy. It’s a real recognition in the vegan world. You should know that PETA awards fashion awards to brands. Prices on leather goods, shoes, clothes. It is a distinction that matters to us. »