Luxury: Prada, Kering, LVMH boost social, environmental commitment
Leading luxury groups are very active in the media this autumn, as they seek to bolster their positioning as socially and environmentally responsible corporations. Having previously been more discreet about their initiatives in these areas, they have now taken to trumpeting them on a regular basis. In the last few days for example, Prada, Kering and LVMH have announced three different projects in quick succession.
On the occasion of the world congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), held on September 3-11 in Marseilles, LVMH joined forces with Unesco to promote ‘Man and Biosphere’ (MAB), an intergovernmental scientific project in which the luxury giant is the only corporate partner, having collaborated with Unesco on MAB since 2019.
In Marseilles, LVMH and Unesco are showcasing in a joint stand the long-term efforts they are engaged in to preserve and augment biodiversity on the planet, by facilitating the deployment of innovative solutions for the management of naturally sustainably resources, and by adopting sustainable practices and new tools to reconcile biodiversity preservation with an ecologically balanced exploitation of natural resources.
LVMH's competitor Kering has instead announced the first seven beneficiaries of the Regenerative Fund for Nature, which the French luxury group set up in January together with Conservation International, a non-profit organisation promoting biodiversity. Their joint goal in the next five years is to ensure that one million hectares of land will be farmed using regenerative agriculture practices, especially with regards to the supply chain for the cotton, wool, cashmere and leather used by the fashion and luxury industries, as Kering explained in a press release.
The fund provides direct support to farmers by financing projects in a number of countries. The first seven projects selected by Kering are the Good Growth Company (GGC) in Mongolia, Organic Cotton Accelerator (OCA) in India, Solidaridad in Argentina, Fundación Global Nature in Spain, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Wildlife-Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN) in Patagonia, Epiterre in south-west France and Conservation South Africa in South Africa.
Recently, Kering has been in the news for taking part in another sustainable fashion project. The luxury group, owner among others of Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, has teamed up with Prospect 100, a platform dedicated to emerging talent that strives to generate opportunities for young creatives by organising competitions in the fields of fashion, design, music and innovation, reserved to participants below 25 years of age.
Kering is supporting the Global Design Competition launched this month by Prospect 100 and focused on sustainable fashion. Applications are open until September 6. The winner will be awarded a $4,000 scholarship and will attend a masterclass at Kering.
Another luxury group busy on this front is Prada, which is partnering with Dorchester Industries, the urban social project set up by African-American artist Theaster Gates in Chicago. Gates is collaborating with Prada to launch the Dorchester Industries Experimental Design Lab, “a three-year programme for emerging and established artists of colour,” as Prada announced in a press release.
“The project aims to support creative talent in the fields of fashion, interior, industrial and graphic design and in the arts, through awards that will ensure their recipients will benefit from financial support and a network of connections with international organisations interested in collaborating with diverse talent,” said Prada. The programme's first beneficiaries will be selected and announced in October.
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