Sustainable Fashion and Luxury Brands Unite
When we think about luxury, sustainability hasn’t typically been the first thing to come to mind, if we’re being honest. François Henri Pinault is making an effort to change that with his 16 brands, including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Puma.
When we think about luxury, sustainability hasn’t typically been the first thing to come to mind, if we’re being honest. François Henri Pinault is making an effort to change that with his 16 brands, including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Puma. After releasing his 2016 Sustainability Report, the chief executive of Kering spoke quite candidly in an interview with Kim Bhasin from Bloomberg and one of our favourite ideas he presented was that luxury is not defined by excess, but by dreams. Pinault said, “You cannot make people dream if you’re cheating by offering a product that is a nightmare behind the scenes.”
And apart from the general fascination we have with sustainable fashion, we were captivated by this interview because – well – because they also talk about things like ethical python farms and leather made from mushrooms.
You’re intrigued, aren’t you?
Pinault is a part of a shift we talk about a lot at Parkers. This shift is away from fashion being one of the worst environmental offenders and towards green practices, like green clothing care alternatives or fabric waste reduction.
While it’s certainly a difficult change to make, filled with challenging goals, and number crunching, when asked about how difficult it was to get the designers on board with the idea, Pinault gave a fascinating answer:
“Not that difficult. But you have to understand that in a luxury brand, you have the creative people and the rest of the company. There’s always this thinking of, we have to let them do whatever they want. They cannot have rules or constraints around them, so don’t bother them with sustainability things, it will be a disaster.
The first thing I did in 2008 was to see all the designers on a one-to-one basis. I said, ‘This is the commitment I’m thinking about. Where are you on that?’ And it was amazing to see that they were even beyond me. I remember [Bottega Veneta Creative Director] Tomas Maier, for instance. No one would have thought it in the company, but Tomas was so involved. It was the first brand that reached 99 percent PVC-free. In less than two years. You should have seen Tomas pushing everyone, redesigning part of the collection.”
This is what we love to see! The biggest names in fashion leading the charge for sustainability.
If you would like to learn about how Parkers provides our customers with sustainable clothing care, check out our Green Cleaning Options.