The cutting edge of sustainable fashion aimed at by the Kering Group[FASHION OUR FUTURE Event Report Part 2]
2022.8.16 / marie claire
Marie Claire and the Kering Group have jointly launched “FASHION OUR FUTURE”, an initiative dedicated to sustainable fashion. Utilizing the knowledge and skills of both companies, we will build content, develop events, campaigns, etc. while incorporating the opinions of industry experts, celebrities, and activists. As the first event, we report on the symposium held in Paris, France in June, divided into the first part and the second part. In the second part, we introduce an interview with Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer of Kering, who was on stage at the symposium.
France’s global luxury group “Kering Group” (hereafter Kering), which owns luxury brands such as Gucci and Balenciaga, is known as a pioneer in the luxury industry that actively engages in environmental issues. ing. For more than 25 years, we have developed innovative materials, promoted regenerative agriculture, and developed various tools that address environmental issues, and have continued to strive to minimize the impact on humans and the environment.
At the recent symposium “FASHION OUR FUTURE” on fashion and environmental issues organized by the Marie Claire Group (headquartered in France) and “Kering” in Paris, Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer of Kering, spoke about sustainability. I answered an interview with Marie Claire about the latest activities and future challenges.
Luxury requires product sustainability
Due to climate change, the protection of flora and fauna has become an urgent issue. How does ‘Kering’ meet this challenge?
A biodiversity conservation strategy is essential to protect the natural resources that are vital to our brands. For this reason, we have created an “Environmental Profit and Loss Statement (EP&L)” as a tool to measure the impact on the environment. We have made it possible to quantify and compare. Furthermore, since 2017, we have established the Kering Standard to determine whether consideration is given to technically protect the ecosystem at each stage of the supply chain.
The “South Gobi Cashmere Project” in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert focuses on livestock farming techniques that ensure animal welfare, promotes traditional high-quality production, and produces more than 25 tons of environmental cashmere in seven years. We have produced and used cashmere within the group. In 2020, the “Nature Restoration Fund” was established, taking a further step forward. It aims to transform one million hectares of farms and pastures into regenerative agricultural land for raw materials such as high-quality leather and cotton.
Consumers are becoming more interested in clothing materials, what are the most promising innovations in this area?
When talking about innovation, it must consider the time required for development. We already work with over 120 startups in this field, but before working with us, we first check that the innovation really works and meets our quality standards. However, many have already been put to practical use, such as regenerative agriculture and the removal of heavy metals during leather tanning.
In 2021, after two years of research and development, Gucci will launch sneakers in a new sustainable animal-free material, Demetra. Also, at the Winter 22 show of Balenciaga, innovative materials are being developed one after another, such as EPHEA™, which is based on mycerium (fungal system) as a substitute for leather, was announced.
Jeans manufacturing is said to be very polluting to the environment. How do you limit your environmental impact?
We are working hard on the denim issue with the launch of the Material Innovation Lab (MIL) in Italy in 2013 with the aim of creating sustainable fabric samples. For luxury brands, there is an urgent need to develop materials that can be worn for a long time without producing large quantities.
Consumers are increasingly asking for transparency in their products. How are you responding?
We disclose our social and environmental objectives and results to the public in the same way that companies report their financial performance. Brands are more focused on customer conversations, and salespeople in particular are being trained to provide good information to customers. Because it is impossible to write all the information in the tag.
The younger generation is sensitive to these issues. How will ‘Kering’ move forward with them?
We communicate a lot with our future consumers, Generation Z and Millennials. For this reason, we are also active in educating our students. For example, we have established a “Sustainability Chair” jointly with the French fashion school “Institut Français de la Mode” to support sustainable development and fashion creation. Together with the London College of Fashion, we have launched the world’s first large-scale online course, providing an environment where luxury fashion and sustainability can be learned. In the future, we plan to collaborate with other fashion schools.
We believe that our goal is to help the generation who will lead the future make the right decisions at the manufacturing stage and provide tools for that purpose.[Related article]Marie Claire and the Kering Group think about fashion and an eco-friendly future[FASHION OUR FUTURE Event Report Part 1]