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Regenerative Sourcing, Circular Models Revamping Fashion

This week, two fashion giants with extensive brand portfolios announced partnerships that show promise for cleaning up “dirty fashion.”

This week, two fashion giants with extensive brand portfolios announced partnerships that show promise for cleaning up “dirty fashion.”

Kering, Savory Institute team up for first verified regenerative sourcing in fashion

Luxury fashion giant Kering has announced a new collaboration with The Savory Institute — a nonprofit that facilitates large-scale regeneration of the world’s grasslands through holistic management — to illustrate the positive impact regenerative agriculture can have in the fashion industry. A first in fashion and luxury, Kering has become a Frontier Founder under Savory’s Land to Market™ program — the world’s first verified regenerative sourcing solution for meat, dairy, wool and leather — to advocate regenerative sourcing solutions and expand the regenerative agriculture framework in fashion’s global supply chains.

Through its use of agricultural raw materials, the fashion industry and its supply chains are directly linked to the degradation of soil, destruction of forests and natural ecosystems, and biodiversity loss. Regenerative agriculture can protect and reverse this environmental degradation, including restoring healthy soil, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and acts as a carbon sink for mitigating climate change. The inclusion of regenerative raw materials is also one of the three key principles to building a circular economy in fashion.

Consequently, leveraging regenerative agricultural systems for the sourcing of raw materials has the potential to be a game changer. As such, Kering has become a Frontier Founder under Savory’s Land to Market program to promote and support the regenerative production of raw materials and utilize Savory’s pioneering methodology, Ecological Outcome VerificationTM (EOV), in its leather and fiber supply chains that come from grazing systems, such as wool and cashmere. EOV measures the indicators of ecosystem functionality in order to ascertain the overall health of the land and grazing systems that support the production of these raw materials. The resulting science-based and empirical data provides farmers with critical information to make better decisions and realize the ecological results from regenerative grazing.

As an element of their collaboration, Kering and Savory will identify and develop a new network of farms that Kering will be able to access. As a first step to building regenerative supply within this network, Kering will focus on its key sourcing regions and work with Savory to support farmers pursuing and demonstrating positive ecological outcomes on their land. This will provide the Group with a new sustainable sourcing solution that verifies its key raw materials and provides traceability back to the farm. The resulting network of farms will offer a pathway towards more restorative and regenerative practices for other companies to follow and can be incorporated in fashion and luxury’s supply chains more broadly.

“Regenerative agriculture is a multi-benefit solution which supports Kering’s sustainability ambitions to mitigate our environmental impacts and deliver positive outcomes along our supply chain,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of international institutional affairs at Kering. “We are proud to collaborate with Savory to pioneer innovative and nature-based solutions in fashion as part of our broader commitment to contribute to solving our industry’s global challenges around biodiversity and climate change.”

Kering, parent company of some of the biggest names in luxury fashion — including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen has led the charge for sustainable luxury by taking a holistic view of its operations. In 2015, the company released its environmental profit and loss methodology to encourage wider adoption of natural capital accounting; since then, it has continued to demonstrate its commitment by committing to an SDG-aligned sustainability strategy, adopting science-based emissions targets, helped develop a biodiversity metric to help companies reduce their impacts, and joined the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Fashion Positive PLUS initiative to help develop circular solutions that can keep its material inputs in perpetual cycles of use and reuse.

“We are delighted to welcome Kering to our growing roster of Frontier Founders across sectors,” said Savory Institute CEO Daniela Ibarra-Howell. “This is an important step forward for fashion and we commend Kering’s leaders for having the foresight to build an approach to sourcing that is rooted in regenerative outcomes. It’s a win for farmers, consumers and of course, the environment on which we all depend.”

Fashion for Good, BESTSELLER join forces

Also this week, Fashion for Good announced its latest partnership — with BESTSELLER, an international fashion company based in Denmark with more than 20 brands in its portfolio — exemplifying their mutual commitment for industry-wide collaboration to bring game-changing circular innovation to supply chains.

Katrin Ley, Managing Director of Fashion for Good, on the new partnership: “We are delighted to join forces with BESTSELLER as they launch Fashion FWD — BESTSELLER’s new strategy which makes sustainability central to its way of doing business. The focus areas of Fashion FWD — ranging from innovative new materials to circular business models — are perfectly aligned with Fashion for Good’s innovation agenda. Together, we want to speed up the transition towards good fashion.”

As part of the partnership, BESTSELLER will engage in setting Fashion for Good’s innovation strategy — including defining focus areas, taking part in the selection of new innovators, and providing expertise and mentorship to the selected startups. BESTSELLER will also benefit from specialised scouting and screening support, as well as preferential access to market-ready innovations through Fashion for Good’s established and expanding network.

“At BESTSELLER, we want to bring sustainable fashion forward until we are climate positive, fair for all and circular by design,” said Sustainability Manager Dorte Rye Olsen. “To do this, we need sustainable innovation and industry collaboration. This is exactly what Fashion for Good represents and why we are pleased to announce our new partnership with them.”

BESTSELLER, whose apparel and accessories brands include Jack & Jones, Junarose, Jacqueline De Yong, Mamalicious, Name It, Lmtd, Noisy May, Object Collectors Item and Only — is building a strong sustainability strategy and circular fashion agenda. In 2017, the company joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 group to explore the possibilities and challenges of moving towards a circular system. BESTSELLER is also a Strategic Partner of the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), a leadership forum working to set a common direction for industry efforts on sustainability.