The French fashion and retail group Vivarte (Naf-Naf, Kookai, Minelli, André) has invested in the small eco-fashion firm Les Fées de Bengales, founded in 2006 by the two sisters Sophie and Camille Dupuy and their friend Elodie le Derf.

The group and founders did not disclose the size of Vivarte’s share in the company.

“Vivarte contacted us one-and-a-half years ago to get information about the eco-market, where they wanted to board, and finally we are now working together,” explained Sophie Dupuy.

For the small eco-brand the arrival of a investor was nonetheless a big deal. “We can develop our business much quicker than planned. Our collection has grown in one season from 60 to 160 pieces.”

Management, marketing and control of fabrics and the production line remain in the hands of the founders. “We are continuing with our strategy and now we even guarantee the eco-friendly production line,” they said.

Les Fées de Bengales, who work mainly with women out of India, recently acquired new partners in Portugal, Tunisia and France to grow its output, but about 70% of it is still produced in India. Prices will remain constant. Two additional staff members, one from another eco-brand and another, a specialist on India, however, have since joined the three founders.

—Barbara Markert