Fashionable sustainability or sustainable fashion?

Starting from Edun fashion brand, by Ali Hewson and Bono, whose mission is to encourage trade with Africa, to H&M’s Conscious Collection and Zara’s eco-friendly stores, it seems that “sustainability and responsibility” are now a must in the fashion industry.
The latest news regarding fashion and sustainability is the PPR Group’s (home of GucciPuma,Yves Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney) Sustainability Initiative PPR HOME to Set New Standard in Luxury, Sport & Lifestyle and Retail Sectors.

By moving beyond the traditional Corporate Social Responsibility model, the group launched PPR HOME and is setting a new standard in sustainability and business practice in the Luxury, Sport & Lifestyle and Retail sectors.

My deep conviction that Sustainability creates value is part of my strategic vision for PPR. Sustainability can – and must – give rise to new, highly ambitious business models and become a lever of competitiveness for our brands. PPR HOME will provide us with novel, more sustainable approaches to contribute to a better world for the long run”, said Francois- Henri Pinault, CEO of PPR.

PPR HOME’s first announcements are setting the pace for the Group’s sustainability mission in order to reduce the social and environmental footprint for its Luxury, Sport and Lifestyle brands. These pioneering initiatives include:
-PPR HOME launches the Creative Sustainability Lab to help lead the industry and foster creativity, innovation and sustainability. Its inaugural partnership with Cradle-to-Cradle® will drive PPR HOME to challenge traditional approaches and proactively re-think and re-consider product and business development. The Cradle-to-Cradle® concept believes that ‘good design’ of products and services should move beyond typical measures of quality – cost, performance and aesthetics – to integrate and apply additional objectives addressing environmental and social concerns.
– PPR has offset its 2010 global CO2 emissions from PPR’s Luxury group, PUMA and PPR’s headquarters of 98,729 tons to achieve carbon neutrality in Scopes 1 & 2 of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and purchased carbon credits from Wildlife Works’ leading REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) offsetting project in Kenya that takes the needs of the local communities and the conservation of biodiversity into account. As the first step in making REDD a reality, Wildlife Works recently provided proof that REDD conforms to the accounting rigor that other carbon credit classes provide, resulting in Wildlife Works project becoming the first-ever Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) validated and verified REDD program.
-PPR’s premiere Sportlifestyle brand, PUMA, has applied a groundbreaking methodological approach to measuring and costing their use of ecosystems and their ecological footprint. This is the initial step to measuring the full economic impact on ecosystem services by PUMA and its supply chain and the delivery of the first-ever Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) account statement. PPR HOME will take a leadership role in building understanding and support for this corporate shift, encouraging others within the industry to share PUMA’s pioneering efforts towards fully-integrated reporting.

Our opinion as sustainability advocates and retail consultants is that all these strategies, well planned and communicated, must follow the companies products from production to sale. The risk is that fashion consumers do not perceive the real added value of sustainability when in-store communication lacks and when the store itself it is not sustainable. An example? Keep following us: ECOFFEE case studies to come in the next weeks!

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