With campuses in Paris, Shanghai and Istanbul and thousands of cosmopolitan students and lecturers, IFA Paris has always had an international vision of fashion and luxury. But sometimes, there is no need to travel far, as a worldwide perspective can be nestled in local projects. With its Parisian roots, IFA Paris, along with other players in the circular economy, will very soon expand into a new location in the heart of the 19th arrondissement of Paris and contribute to the success of an alternative ecosystem.

For the past fifteen years, the city of Paris and the SNCF (The French Railway company) have been working to set up innovative projects around the Little Railway Belt (ancient Railway Network all around Paris). The common objective is to develop the land currently unused by the SNCF by encouraging various rehabilitation programs and transforming any urban eyesore into a real place of life for the inhabitants.

The IFA Paris fashion school has been working for several months on a project to rehabilitate the former coal station at 105 Rue Curial. The program, called "Au fil du rail", aims to invest the 700m² of space spread over 4 levels around the themes of textiles and food.

Alongside Bellevilles, the responsible real estate company, Grand Huit, the architecture cooperative, Espace 19 and Rosa Parks social centres, the association Les Couleurs deAu Fil du Rail Architect View Pont de Flandre, Mam'Ayoka and the Textilerie, IFA Paris aspires to build a model of circular and solidarity economy based on creative experiments.

The common vision of the participants will be to articulate the available space around 3 major federating poles: awareness of sustainable clothing practices, healthy food, and access to culture for all.

The space dedicated to textile know-how plans to host inclusive workshops, an ethical textile laboratory, a boutique, and a recycling centre. Each entity will have the mission to promote and highlight the virtuous aspects of circular and inclusive fashion.

A restaurant will be available to the neighbourhood’s residents, emphasizing the benefits of zero waste, inclusive and sustainable food.

On the cultural side, several multipurpose spaces should host fashion shows, festivals, workshops, exhibitions, shows or other concerts.

Au Fil du Rail will be entirely dedicated to social entrepreneurship and responsible economic development. It has been designed to promote interculturality, meet the new social needs of the population and make fashion a new lever for the development of circular and sustainable activities.

To the great displeasure of the soon to be dislodged bats, 105 rue Curial is about to welcome its new occupants! It's exciting to imagine that the railroad could become the new spearhead of the 19th arrondissement's circular economy.

While Au Fil du Rail is scheduled to officially open by early 2023, an event program is being developed to encourage residents of the neighbourhood, and of Paris, to come and discover the space. IFA Paris will propose activities such as a connected dressing room sales, conferences, workshops and fashion shows entirely managed by its students enrolled in the Bachelor of Fashion Sustainability.

Stay tuned for regular updates on this project!