Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Kering Makes Sustainability Their Business

Big news from luxury fashion conglomerate Kering this morning. Vogue is reporting that the high-end brand, which includes names like Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, has inked a five year deal with the London College of Fashion to promote ethical fashion.
Under the deal, two students a year will recieve a bursary worth over £30,000. Their focus will be on the exploration and development sustainable techniques and materials in fashion. There's no word yet on whether their work will land them a distribution deal with Kering, but that has to be in the back of every applicant's mind.
But that's not all. Kering CEO Fran├žois-Henri Pinault has also announced plans for his company to release a full yearly environmental profit and loss account--the first major fashion brand to do so. Pinault says:
"At Kering, sustainability is everyone's business. We believe in it not only because it is the right thing to do, but because sustainable business is smart business. In fact, in my view, the businesses that consider their impacts on the environment and society, and re-orient there practices to deliver not only financial value but also value more broadly for nature and for people will prosper in the future. And conversely, the companies that bury their heads in the sand and think they can continue "as usual" will simply not last."
This is potentially massive news. The head of an influential high-end fashion house has just tied the future of his company irrevocably to sustainable fashion, a move that his competitors can only view as a call to action. I was talking earlier in the month about how fashion needs to normalise ethical practices. I think we've just seen a big step towards that becoming reality.
Read Pinault's whole statement here. It's very heartening news indeed. More on this breaking story as we get it.

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