Meeting with Margot Dargegen, founder of Nénés
Can you introduce yourself and your brand Nénés?
I'm Margot Dargegen, I'm 28 years old and I live in Marseille. I founded Nénés 4 years ago now! Following my studies, in 2018 , I became aware of my consumption and the climate emergency. So I decided to change my way of consuming: exit fast fashion and over-consumption ! Little by little, I then built myself a new, more eco-responsible wardrobe. It was when I went looking for ethical and feminine lingerie at the same time, and I found nothing, that I decided to create my own brand! Ever since I was little, I have loved to draw and, once I finished my studies, I could finally give free rein to my passion for fashion and my creativity. This is how Nénés was born in 2018, with the desire to offer a real stylish and eco-responsible alternative to traditional lingerie !
In a few words, how would you define Nénés?
Nénés Paris is a committed lingerie and swimwear brand. The values we advocate are proximity, sustainability, spontaneity and creativity , which explains why our global ecological approach is at the center of our entire approach. All models are made in Portugal or France in small quantities and at fair prices. The aim of the brand is to highlight the natural body of the woman thanks to the quality of its cuts, which are both timeless and feminine. Mediterranean, bohemian and retro inspirations allow our customers to escape. The universe is soft, sunny, a bit erotic and poetic.
What were the different stages in the creation of the brand?
To get started, I opted for crowdfunding on Ulule at the end of 2018 . I launched 3 pre-order bras. They were already made of recycled fibers at the time, which was unusual. My goal was then achieved, which allowed me to finance the production of my first collection. I quickly added bath . I have always loved the sun and the sea and the brand's universe suited this range of products perfectly. So that was obvious to me. I then launched our website in July 2019 ! The beginnings were not always easy because, obviously, I will not be paid and I did not have the means to build a team. So I worked alone on the project for a year and a half.
In February 2020, Juliette, my partner, joined me after a call made on Linkedin. I found my partner! She helped me a lot to develop the brand and build the team. We are very complementary. We then launched several new products : beachwear in 2020, menstrual panties and loungewear in 2021, a maternity bra in 2022. And above all, the team grew significantly in 2022 with the recruitment of 4 people in CDI!
What message do you want to share thanks to Nénés?
That being a bomb without blowing up the planet is possible! We can quite reasonably consume environmentally friendly and sustainable products. It's all about buying less and better ! With Nénés, I want to offer a concrete alternative to fast fashion , which goes well beyond the product and pure consumption. I want to raise awareness and educate our subscribers and customers so that they become aware of the climate emergency, the excesses of fashion and the impact of their consumption. Show them that every small step, no matter how small, counts.
How is Nénés an eco-responsible brand?
Nénés is an eco-responsible brand because each action undertaken is designed to have the least possible impact on the environment . Our commitment is therefore found throughout the chain:
- Creation, by imagining durable and timeless products
- The choice of materials: recycled or natural organic and European
- A reasoned and European production in short circuit , in certified workshops in Portugal and France
- Fair prices all year round
- Micro-donations for the oceans for each order placed
- Repair and end-of-life management of our products
Why is the life of the brand divided between Paris and Marseille?
I started in Paris, where I lived when I launched the brand, but I quickly wanted to escape to the south to get closer to nature and the sun, which are immense sources of inspiration for me. . Entrepreneurship is a great adventure that also allows me to have a certain freedom! So I moved to Marseille in 2021. My partner, Juliette, stayed in Paris. We therefore have two offices open the showroom for our customers ! Our creative team was built in Marseille and the operational team in Paris. We meet regularly and each city has its advantages. It's super convenient to have your feet on the ground.
How do you envision the future of Nénés?
In the months to come, we are keen to communicate more about the traceability of our products , to allow our customers to know the whole life of Nénés products. We also plan to go up and visit the entire production chain, starting on the beaches where the waste is collected which, once recycled and returned to the state of fiber, is used to manufacture our fabrics. Also, we would like to make our customers more aware : how to maintain their product, what to do if it is damaged, how to give it a second life. Second-hand lingerie is not obvious because it is unhygienic. We are therefore looking to set up beautiful projects to make it achievable! Since this year, we offer the repair of all Nenes products for one year and then offer the repair for life.
In addition to being eco-responsible, Nénés is an inclusive brand , made by women and intended for all women . We really want to increase our sizes over the years, which requires a lot of development effort, and therefore time. Finally, I would very much like to develop ranges related to those we offer, such as more ready-to-wear or sportswear , for example, so that the universe of Nénés is available for all moments of life.
Your best memory ? Your worst pain?
We will start with the galleys to end with the good memories. Honestly I had plenty! At first, it was me who sourced all the little accessories that make up a bra (strap, clasp, elastic, underwire…). So, among other things, I bought rubber bands, which I had to dye myself. I received them, then sent them back to a dye factory. Once dyed, they were sent back to me all tangled. Meters and meters of tangled rubber bands... I spent days and days untangling them. In the same vein, I received all the rolls of fabrics, boxes and envelopes at my house on the 6th floor without an elevator. Today I'm laughing!
As for good memories, fortunately, there are also plenty of them, if not more! At each shoot, it's super satisfying to discover the products worn . This is truly the long-awaited moment and the finalization of a lot of work. I also love seeing Nenes products worn on the street or at the beach. I live in Marseille and I have already come across a lot of swimsuits and beachwear near Malmousque or at Anse de la Fausse Monnaie. It's so nice to see that customers feel comfortable and how well it suits them ! I also have very good memories of shooting. These are always great adventures ! In Sicily, Caroline (our former graphic designer), Marine (digital marketing manager) and I ended up sleeping in a tent set up in the living room of the house we had rented because there were huge caterpillars in our bedroom.
And finally, can you tell us about a Nenes product that was a hit?
There were several but the ones that come to mind are swimsuits, with strong prints that have been a hit. We had barely had time to put them online and announce it on social networks, that they were already sold out! There was the Sandy and Borda set in mint gingham and the Lemona in lemon print . These two models gave the impetus to the Nenes prints: the gingham, the berries. It's really part of our universe and it's the Nenes "paw".