MEUNE's mission is to propose a responsible slow fashion and lifestyle label, claiming a local and reasoned production. Unique, upcycled or in very limited series, produced on demand, whose singularity is based on the valorization of traditional South American know-how and French craftsmanship.
MEUNE is a creative "matrimonial" label. It finds its meaning in the valorization of traditional Andean know-how and cultural heritage as a quest for natural and human harmony.
MEUNE wishes to take you on a symbolic transatlantic journey where Nature, Humanity, and Culture are celebrated and portrayed so that they are never neglected or overlooked.
Rethinking fashion—Women, culture, community, and nature.
Unconsciously or not, Nahir has been immersed in the Mapuche culture from a very young age, in which her childhood village, Carhué, has its roots and has irrigated her spirit, rooting her future battles.
As if echoing his personal history, that of his ancestors uprooted and exiled in Argentina after fleeing fascism or imperialism, Nahir shares with the Mapuches the quest for re-rootedness and the recovery of her identity.
To understand Nahir's worldview, it is therefore important to talk about this Mapuche cultural anchorage.
The Mapuche people
Nahir understands as an adult that their Cosmovision is in fact much of her own world-view.
These people have very different ways of self-organization than Western models: social, decentralized and participatory politics, and the defense of the land as a sacred part of their lives rather than as a resource to be exploited.
Like the Mapuche, she considers nature as a "Sacred Mother", mutual aid as the cement of a balance in the community and women as a major player in the balance between people, nature, and culture.
For Meune, nature, craftsmanship and women, as the centrepiece of this cultural anchorage, are at the heart of her concerns and commitments.
More about the Mapuche people
The Mapuche seek to live in balance with nature as their ancestors did. The human, the natural and the spiritual complement each other harmoniously, leading them to find Küme Mogen (the "good life").
They conceive the world as a space, the Nag Mapu, where animals, plants, spirits, rivers, humans and positive and negative forces of nature co-exist and depend on each other in a holistic and comprehensive way.
The Mapuche are attached to the idea of defending any kind of life that may exist. Everything responds to the same chain of life, whereas in the so-called “developed” countries they have more of a concept of development that is depredatory and destructive of life.
The community's social relations are based on intertwined reciprocal exchanges of goods and services at all levels, making these exchanges as determining identity markers as language, religion, or territory.
Women play a major role in the preservation and transmission of ancestral heritage.
Weavers or goldsmiths, tell through their art their history of resistance and the connection with the land that their people maintain.
As guardians of an ancestral know-how, they pass on to the new generations their skills and extensive knowledge of nature, which provides the raw materials for the creations: the wool, fruits, leaves and flowers used for the dyes seal a fertile and sacred cooperation with Ñuke Mapu ("Mother Earth").
Of Argentinean origin and literally and figuratively nourished by the Mapuche land, Nahir has forged the meaning of her life through years of education turned towards nature and towards others. She has always been very sensitive to the relationship between society, territory, cultural heritage and nature. More than ever, she is aware that helping the Mapuche, and indigenous peoples in general, means defending the idea that another, more virtuous way of life exists: that of producing and consuming while taking into account nature, culture, and humankind.
It thus formulated its raison d'être, which naturally became that of its label MEUNE.
MEUNE's raison d'être is to safeguard the living, natural and cultural heritage of South America. To ensure the overall sustainable development of our societies through the respect of human rights, biodiversity and cultural diversity:
✤ By preserving the environment, without depleting any natural resources.
✤ By putting solidarity and mutual aid back at the heart of social relations and work.
✤ By fostering cultural know-how and traditions to help preserve their identity and history.
✤ By celebrating the central role of women in transmitting traditional skills.
Like a return to our roots, Meune invites each of us to rethink our relationship with nature, with others and with our identity, to reconcile the two worlds of the past and the present, to draw a new way of being and living.
✤ Because cultural and natural heritage embody the same idea, that of common good.
✤ Because the notion of development of the global north in particular is a concept of development that is depredatory, destructive of life.
✤ S Because the management of ecosystems according to a sustainable development approach is more virtuous than the market logic.
Responsible and inclusive development
MEUNE incorporates the notion of fair trade from the beginning.
Thanks to a local production and collaboration between France and South America.
While travelling to Argentina for family visits, our designer dedicates part of her time to visit the artisans of the indigenous communities in the region. Her wish was to help them improve their living conditions while encouraging them to become autonomous through their art of weaving and their know-how, if their intention is to live from their craft.
Textiles are an important aspect of the Mapuche tradition. Wool is a much more accessible raw material than silver, which favours textile production. Each colour and pattern has a special meaning. When put together, the fabric tells a story, the story of the person wearing it.
Textiles therefore have a very strong cultural connotation for these communities and their desire is to highlight Andean culture with dignity through their artisanal weaving in order to make their history known to others. It is also a way of valuing the work, traditions and knowledge of these women, who have expressed the feeling that they are sometimes on the margins of today's society.
It is with commitment and great admiration for the work of these women that Meune integrates their handmade weavings into its creations made in Paris. It is their work that allows us to create exceptional pieces.
At Meune, we believe that it is the local and collaborative aspect of helping each other, not competition, that will help overcome the social, cultural and ecological issues that run through the fashion industry today.
Preservation of Biodiversity
Thanks to the choice of upcycling and limited series production.
Put an end to the materials' production and the unnecessary extraction of natural resources: Create with the existing.
It is a commonplace to observe a human/natural imbalance, particularly attributed to the fashion industry.
The creation of clothing depends to a large extent on biodiversity and nature: from the health of the soil where the cotton or linen grows, to the trees that provide the wood needed to produce the fibres, to the animals raised for their wool or leather.
However, we have reached a point where so much clothing is produced that manufacturers can no longer ignore the damage caused to the environment.
Faced with the depletion of resources and the scarcity of natural habitats, the current and future players in the sector are called upon to take their responsibilities and reinvent the clothing sector.
The "slow-fashion" movement favours quality over quantity and aims to reduce its footprint on the Earth as much as possible: consume less, and better.
Upcycling involves many challenges to current production models and advocates for a completely new way of designing clothes: Creativity and determination become the key.
MEUNE is part of this new circular economy, local, reasoned and reasonable by offering eco-designed products in small limited series, manufactured in Paris.
On the one hand, we recover surplus fabrics from prestigious French fashion houses made from natural and noble materials such as silk, cotton, linen or wool. On the other hand, we work with communities of artisans in South America to incorporate their hand-woven textiles in wool or cotton as decoration on our creations.
Re-rooting and defending one's identity
Helping the transmission and safeguarding of the Andean cultural and natural heritage are at the heart of our commitment.
The issues of identity and transmission are closely related. It is through the culture transmission that the roots of one's identity can be built.
Far from wanting to preserve the traditional know-how of the Andean peoples in the past, MEUNE is convinced that by collaborating with indigenous communities, we contribute to preserve their heritage, but above all to keeping it alive.
Living heritage, whether cultural or natural, is an important factor in maintaining cultural diversity to face increasing globalisation and is also a bulwark against the massive destruction of natural resources.
Women's emancipation and revendication.
MEUNE contributes to this by highlighting their central role in the transmission of Living Heritages.
Throughout history, indigenous women have played an important role in the struggles of peoples and communities, although their contribution has often been overlooked in the dominant official history.
Mapuche women, in particular, have always opposed the Spanish crown and then the national states that tried to folklorise and commercialise their customs and traditions.
Today, they consider that in this era of capitalism and globalisation, it is more important than ever to defend their culture, identity and know-how by strengthening the good life in harmony with nature.
The role of these women is therefore more relevant than ever: their emancipation, their autonomy and therefore female entrepreneurship are necessarily levers, challenges, and a requirement for these communities economic and social development.
To preserve them and, above all, to perpetuate them by including them in current and future co-creation projects.
MEUNE is part of this solidarity-based approach, which aims to help women to develop their know-how through the development of income-generating activities, self-esteem and freedom.
The sustainability of the financial activity and the women's awareness of their “power to act” are at the heart of the MEUNE project.
I was born in Argentina in 1989 in a small village called Carhué, a town in the province of Buenos Aires, which in Mapuche (Mapudungun) means "Green Place".
Nature is central to my childhood and the construction of myself. It is my playground: I live between the "campo", the family's rural property where horses and cows reign, my skiing holidays in Patagonia and weekends in Epecuén, a ghost town close to my village, a sunken and ravaged by the waters city.
I became aware from an early age of the beauty, the power, but also and above all the fragility of Nature.
More about the founder
Forced to move to Buenos Aires to pursue my higher studies, I discovered the ultra-consumerist excesses of my country, which was experiencing an unprecedented economic boom. I don't recognize myself in this fringe of the population whose values and priorities are the antithesis of the education I received from my mother.
This extraordinary woman has always lived against the grain by refusing to consume excessively: like a pioneer, she dressed her three daughters mainly with items shared between the girls in the family.
After graduation and a period working at a famous investment bank, I realized that I didn't belong there.
I then felt the need to travel and decided to leave for Europe on my own. I spent a few months in Germany and discovered the advances made by this country in terms of sustainable development and renewable energy. I then went to France, to Paris, before leaving back for Argentina.
It was at this point that I felt the irrepressible need to reconnect with Nature, but also with those who understand it best: the indigenous peoples of South America. I set off alone to meet these communities in the North (Quechua, Aymara, Kolla) and South (Mapuche, Tehuelche) of Argentina, Chile and Peru. I became aware of the richness of their cultural heritage and their know-how, while measuring how much their life in communion with Nature resonates with me as a matter of course.
I understand that the meaning of my life is now linked to the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of my country.
I then returned to Paris, from where I wanted to lead this project. I thus created MEUNE "what binds me" in 2019.
The city of Epecuén is a founding and essential part of Nahir's personal universe. It naturally becomes a central part of Meune's creative universe.
Nahir visited for the first time Epecuén after the flood.
Since she was young, she has been walking around the ruins and playing with the idea of how the houses of the past looked like.
Walking through a sunken, waterlogged city was a playground she loved. It was not until she was an adult that she realised the seriousness of the tragedy.
Epecuén has always been part of her world, the construction of her imagination, a source of inspiration and the catalyst for her future battles for nature conservation.