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Editor's pick sustainability technology

Kering launches interactive EP&L for World Environment Day

To mark World Environment Day on June 5, Kering launched a digital, interactive version of its 2018 Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) report.

Kering’s annual EP&L was originally launched in 2011. It allows the group to measure its environmental footprint across its internal business operations, business activities and supply chain.

The new report is accessible on a dedicated digital platform. This is divided into four different sections, two of which allow data from the 2018 EP&L to be visualized in different interactive formats. The third allows users to download all of the raw material aggregate data Kering used to create the report, while the fourth provides access to the full methodology.

Together, these four sections create unprecedented access into Kering’s sustainable strategy.  

“Sharing the underlining EP&L data will complement the methodology we open-sourced in 2015 to further help other companies gain greater transparency of their supply chains and clarify their impact on the environment,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering.  

Kering’s hope for this new EP&L is also that industry players will be able to build on the data and create their own environmental analysis reports.

In more detail, the first section, called 2018 results, displays the environmental impact insights that were gathered and displayed on the original report in an interactive map format. This allows users to visualize how different environmental impact factors, such as greenhouse gas emissions and land use, impact different geographical locations in which Kering operates.

Through a filter function, users can further customize searches. For example, they can narrow down specific raw materials they are interested in, as well as different product categories such as “couture” or “jewelry”.

Kering’s EP&L “2018 results” map visual

The second category, Material Intensities, allows users to visualize the impact of specific materials in graph format. Again, the data can be customized by using a filter function that allows users to find out very specific information on material type, process step and country.

The third allows users to access and download the raw aggregate datasets that form the backbone of the interactive functionality of the report. These can again be customized to suit the search requirements of a user, they can also be analyzed and then downloaded.

Simultaneously to Kering launching its new EP&L, daughter brand Gucci has also launched its adapted EP&L report in the same interactive format, the first of the Kering brands to do so.

The group aims to further augment the report in October 2019 with a Hackathon in Paris. Inspired by Kering’s successful implementation of its “My P&L app”, this will invite tech experts, sustainability specialists and developers,  to build out apps and other digital solutions.

“Our Hackathon will leverage this data to innovate new tech solutions, which will undoubtedly support us in achieving our 40% EP&L reduction target,” comments Marie-Claire Daveu. “I hope this will also encourage a broader adoption of the resulting tools to facilitate the reduction of luxury and fashion’s impact on the environment and on biodiversity.”

How are you thinking about your sustainable innovation strategy? Want to learn more about how we worked with Google? The Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to hear more.

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business Campaigns data digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Farfetch acquires Stadium Goods, the UN’s fashion climate charter, ASOS profit warning

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Farfetch acquires Stadium Goods: Why sneaker resale is becoming big business [Forbes]
  • Milestone fashion industry charter for climate action launched [UN]
  • ASOS issues profit warning as Christmas sales falter [The Industry]
TECHNOLOGY
  • China’s retailers turn to real-world surveillance to track big spenders [Wired]
  • Alexa wants you to answer questions [Cognition X]
  • Is the face-swapping robot with multiple ‘personalities’ cool or just plain creepy? [Mashable]
  • Racist, sexist AI could be a bigger problem than lost jobs [Forbes]
  • Is tech too easy to use? [New York Times]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Kering launches first ‘regenerative sourcing’ standard for fashion suppliers [Edie
  • Francisco Costa is back—with the chicest sustainable beauty brand you’ve ever seen [Vogue]
  • The first “plastic-free” supermarket aisle [BBC]
  • Lacoste joins list of brands banning mohair  [Fashion United]
  • Companies used to stay quiet about politics. In 2018, social causes became integral to their branding. [Vox]
  • Is online shopping better or worse for the environment? [WWD]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Here’s how Nike, Alibaba and Walmart are reinventing retail [Wired]
  • The future of fashion is made-to-order, according to Farfetch CEO José Neves [Fast Company]
  • Amazon Go eyes London’s West End for first UK store [Retail Gazette]
  • Why Starbucks is experimenting with experience-based retail [Digiday]
  • E-commerce is thriving in Africa despite hurdles to the “last mile” [Quartz]
  • ‘It’s a big data game’: Startups compete to reinvent the convenience store [Digiday]
  • Lululemon expands test for 1st loyalty program [Retail Dive]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • You can try on the latest Adidas sneaker drop on Snapchat [Engadget]
  • Mall of America debuts holiday AR scavenger hunt [Mobile Marketer]
  • Mr Porter launches gift assistant with Facebook Messenger [Fashion Network]
  • Lululemon and Strava team up to launch a series of virtual races [Runners World]
  • Calvin Klein kills print ads — will other fashion brands follow suit? [Footwear News]
PRODUCT
  • H&M teams up with cult brand Eytys for unisex collection [Fashion United]
BUSINESS
  • Millennial consumers rule the luxury market – how are brands coping? [SCMP]
  • Samsung’s Supreme collaboration in China is with a “counterfeit organization,” Supreme says [Quartz]
  • LVMH expands portfolio with $2.6B Belmond travel deal [Retail Dive]
  • H&M says full year sales increased by 5 percent [Fashion United]
  • Alberta Ferretti under investigation by Italy’s antitrust authority [Fashion United]
CULTURE
  • Self-Portrait is growing in the age of streetwear — without flashy logos or sneakers [Fashionista]
  • Prada pulls monkey designs following outcry over racist imagery [Complex]
  • Diversity on magazine covers increased by a record double-digit percentage in 2018 [Fashionista]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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sustainability

Sustainability is luxury’s duty, says Kering

Laurent Claquin, Kering
Laurent Claquin, Kering

“Everyone is convinced that sustainability is a necessity and not an option, but for the luxury industry it’s actually a duty,” said Laurent Claquin, head of Kering Americas.

Speaking at the Remode conference in Los Angeles last week, he said that sustainability is steadily becoming a mark of quality, thus something every brand needs to do anyway, but there still remains a gap in luxury moving in this direction.

“The luxury sector has an obligation to lead the way, because in many ways the rest of the industry is looking to them,” added Eva Kruse, president and CEO of the Global Fashion Agenda, which is focused on sustainability. “We think the luxury sector is where sustainability would thrive the most just because of the sheer margins that it can sell its items for in terms of the price. But still, we haven’t seen a lot of companies really spearheading it.”

Kering is arguably out front having made a series of commitments to a more sustainable future, including targets for 2025 that are guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the launch of an open source Environmental Profit & Loss calculator, which enables businesses to attach a momentary value to their planetary impact.

The latter helps build the business case for sustainability, which Claquin referred to as an opportunity based around doing things responsibly. “When you do it in a sustainable way, you not only decrease negative impact, but you can create positive impact,” he explained.

Using the calculator has enabled Kering to see that 80% of its impact is actually outside its operation, due to being based largely on the extraction and process of raw materials. Creating a more sustainable supply chain therefore, has meant going to the source to work directly with suppliers and partners. Innovation is a big part of making this happen, Claquin explained.

“We’re not perfect, it’s step by step and we’re at the beginning of a long journey,” he added.

Kering recently introduced an organic cotton that is 100% scientifically traceable, thanks to a new supply chain transparency innovation.

How are you thinking about sustainable innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick product sustainability

9 brands rethinking textiles for the circular economy

Fashion's Impact on Water
Fashion’s Impact on Water

From sustainability guru Stella McCartney to German premium label Hugo Boss, brands across the spectrum have been experimenting with textile innovations that aim to push the industry towards a greener future.

This mission comes with a sense of urgency, with several reports predicting the uncomfortable reality of resource scarcity. A statistic from The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that humans were using the equivalent of 1.7 planets’ worth of natural resources in 2017.

Such resources, and water specifically, are central to the fashion industry’s supply chain. From planting and irrigating cotton fields, to dyeing and washing fabric – a world without enough water and raw materials spells out an uncertain future.

Infographic of The Circular Economy - Ellen MacArthur
Infographic of The Circular Economy – Ellen MacArthur

“In the worst case, the fashion industry will face distinct restrictions on one or more of its key input factors, leaving it unable to grow at the projected rate and in the long run unable to continue under its current operating model,” said the Global Fashion Agenda in its The Pulse of The Fashion Industry report.

It’s for that reason, the industry is exploring the circular economy, which takes the traditional, make-use-dispose model in fashion, and rather promotes a closed-loop where items are reused, recycled and reduced.

We’ve seen numerous startups playing in this space for years, experimenting with different natural ingredients and formulas to create textiles ready for market. Today, a number of brands are jumping on board and partnering with such teams in order to replace traditional materials.

Here are nine of the strongest examples…

STELLA MCCARTNEY

Stella McCartney has been championing sustainable fashion since the formation of her namesake label, pushing the envelope of what circular textile innovation means for the industry at large.

One stand-out circular textile from the brand is Re.Verso™, a regenerated cashmere made from post-factory cashmere waste in Italy. According to the brand’s self-implemented Environmental P&L account, using this alternative material reduced its impact by 92%.

EVERLANE 

Everlane's ReNew Line
Everlane’s ReNew Line

Direct-to-consumer brand Everlane, which pioneered the concept of a transparent supply chain through its “radical transparency” approach, announced its newest sustainable material just this month – a fleece called ReNew, which is made from recycled plastic bottles.

The brand also pledged to replace all materials made of virgin plastic (including polyester and nylon) with material made of plastic water bottles and renewed materials by 2021. It expects to be recycling 100 million water bottles through its supply chain.

ADIDAS X PARLEY FOR THE OCEANS

Adidas x Parley
Adidas x Parley

Adidas’ partnership with Parley for the Oceans, a non-profit organization set to remove and recycle waste from the ocean, has been an elemental part of the brand’s sustainability strategy.

In 2015, the two companies teamed up to make a sneaker that was made entirely of yarn recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gill nets. While the shoe was impressive in both design and sustainability, the partnership really started to come to fruition last year when sneakers like the Parley x Adidas Ultra Boost became more widely available to the public.  Eric Liedtke, head of global brands at the company, said each pair of shoes uses the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles, which means that Adidas has recycled some 55 million plastic bottles this year.

ALLBIRDS

Allbirds' SweetFoam flip-flops
Allbirds’ Sugar Zeffer flip-flops

In August 2018, direct-to-consumer footwear brand Allbirds announced the launch of “SweetFoam”,  a biodegradable and environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based materials traditionally used in the manufacturing process of shoe-soles. The first product the brand created with SweetFoam was a range of sustainable flip-flops called Sugar Zeffers.

The new material, which is made up of a sugarcane base, marks an important achievement in the industry, as it is the first ever carbon-neutral green alternative to the traditional EVA foam. To inspire industry-wide change, Allbirds also made this technology open-source and therefore available to everyone.

REEBOK

As part of its Cotton + Corn initiative, sportswear brand Reebok released its first-ever biodegradable sneaker range in August of this year. The product launch was part of the brand’s larger aim to reduce the brand’s environmental footprint with biodegradable products.

The shoe, which is also called the Cotton + Corn sneaker, is made with a cotton top and a bioplastic sole created from a corn-derived alternative material. It is also the first in its category to be certified by the United States Department of Agriculture to consist of 75% bio-based content.

REFORMATION

Reformation Intimates
Reformation Intimates

Los Angeles-based sustainable fashion brand, Reformation, has been making fashion using end-of-roll fabrics for years, but through its newest category, underwear, it’s taking things a step further.

The intimates collection is made using a mixture of sustainable fabrics such as recycled lace, eco mesh (a recycled type of yarn) and Lenzing TENCEL, a patented fabric derived from a wood cellulose material.

ADAY

Fashion's Impact on Water
Fashion’s Impact on Water

For its new Plant Bae collection, direct-to-consumer fashion brand, Aday, wanted to trial a new fabric composition using SeaCell, a fiber created from seaweed from the Icelandic coast.

Every four years, the seaweed is harvested and spun into fiber together with lyocell to stabilize. For the Plant Bae collection, it was also enhanced with cellulose and modal to create an additionally soft fabric composition. The innovative material has seen previous incarnations in Falke socks and Lululemon sportswear in its VitaSea collection.

SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

Salvatore Ferragamo
Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo created a capsule collection in 2017 made from an innovative new material derived from leftover orange peel. The brand partnered with Italian company, Orange Fiber, to product the silk-feel line, which included apparel such as t-shirts and delicate scarves.

This material is, for now, aplenty: a recent figure from the Italian Agricultural Department revealed that waste from the juice industry resulted in 700,000 tonnes of discarded orange peel on a yearly basis in Italy alone.

HUGO BOSS

Hugo Boss "Boss"
Hugo Boss “Boss”

German brand Hugo Boss released limited collection footwear in April 2018 using discarded pineapple leaves that imitate the texture of leather. The material, called Piñatex, has been used by smaller footwear brands such as Bourgeois Boheme, although Hugo Boss is one of the first mainstream brands to adopt it.

Piñatex is derived from the leaves of the pineapple plant, a byproduct of the pineapple harvest that has no other use for farmers. The creation of the textile therefore provides local farmers with an additional income.

How are you thinking about sustainable innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick product sustainability

Everlane pledges to go plastic-free by 2021

Everlane's ReNew line
Everlane’s ReNew line

Direct-to-consumer brand Everlane has committed to be completely free of virgin plastics by 2021.

To announce the launch, founder Michael Preysman, as well as Natalie Massenet and Nick Brown, who invested in the brand through their fund Imaginary Ventures, hosted a dinner in NYC on Tuesday (October 16), where guests were introduced to the brand’s new ReNew fleece, which is made from recycled plastic bottles.

“For me, whenever I see product that comes out that’s virgin [plastic], I think, these companies are actively choosing [to not recycle], to say money and profit is more important to us than doing the right thing for the environment,” Preysman told Vogue. “I think that has to change; I think that time is over.”

By 2021, all materials, including polyester and nylon, which are made from virgin plastic, will be made out of plastic water bottles and renewed materials, the brand has announced.

Preysman estimates that in the next five years, Everlane expects to use about 100 million water bottles through its system. He admits this is merely a humble contribution, as there are currently 500 billion water bottles produced every year.

This pledge furthers the brand’s commitment to the idea of “radical transparency” that has been at the heart of its business model since inception, from pricing to production practices. The overarching industry focus on reducing the use of plastics, however, comes with staggering numbers: according to Preysman, there are eight billion tons of plastic on the planet, which is roughly one ton per person.

Everlane's ReNew line
Everlane’s ReNew line

Before embarking on a sustainable plastics strategy, Preysman says the brand had to come to terms with the scale of how much it engages with the material across the supply chain: “We’re producing millions of units and every unit that goes out is wrapped in plastic. At the beginning, it was like, ‘Hey, let’s just take off all these plastic bags’. There are a lot of complications to that. Everything you buy in the world comes wrapped in plastic when it comes out of the factory.”

Realizing the impact of using plastics is also part of this journey too, he adds. “It’s a really convenient thing, but it’s actually incredibly damaging because once plastic is made, we use it for a second but it lasts forever.”

As the fight against plastic continues to pick up speed, brands across the spectrum – from smaller, DTC names to sportswear giants – are investigating different material innovations as replacements. Earlier this year at SXSW, adidas announced that by 2024, it will use only recycled ocean plastics; Reebok has recently launched a biodegradable shoe made with a cotton top and a bioplastic sole; and DTC sneaker brand Allbirds has launched a pair of flip flops made with a new material made out of sugar cane – of which the recipe is open source for other brands to tap into.

How are you thinking about material innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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sustainability

The RealReal measures environmental impact with new sustainability calculator

The RealReal

Luxury consignment company, The RealReal, has created a Sustainability Calculator that estimates the company has saved 65 million car miles and energy since it launched in 2012.

The calculator collected data from 2.5 million womenswear items that were consigned on the website, quantifying the positive savings of greenhouse gas (GHG), energy and water that giving clothing second life will have on the planet.

“Consigning is good for the environment, and I am thrilled we have developed a valid and quantifiable way for our customers to measure the positive impact their consignment has on the planet. It takes my breath away that people consigning apparel alone have made such a tremendous impact — the equivalent of 340,000 trees planted,” says The RealReal’s founder, Julie Wainwright.

To create the tool, The RealReal worked with Oregon based sustainable consultancy agency, Shift Advantage, as well as experts from the World Resource Institute (WRI) and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

With the help of its partners, the company created a methodology that measured four key metrics to estimate the planetary impact. These include:

  • Impact by Material: Energy, greenhouse gas and water consumption were estimated based on global averages for each material type. The RealReal does not own the manufacturing process of its goods.
  • Item Archetypes: The most common women’s clothing types were used to develop four archetypes for calculation: dresses, tops, jackets and knitwear.
  • Fabric Composites: The RealReal defragmented the inventory mix into the most common item-fabric combinations (i.e. silk, cotton, polyester, viscose, wool and linen).
  • Product Type Composites: Since every item consigned is unique, The RealReal used sample weights to develop average weight measures for each archetype fabrication group.

The consignment retailer is not the first to launch a sustainability calculator. In 2016 Kering partnered with Parsons School of Design in New York to create an Environmental Profit and Loss app (EP&L) to measure the impact of student’s creations.

How are you thinking about textile innovation and sustainability? We’re all about helping you build strategic integrations. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick product sustainability

Wrangler is erasing 99% of water from denim dyeing with new foam process

Wrangler adopts foam dyeing
Wrangler

Classic American jeans manufacturer Wrangler has become the first brand to adopt ‘Dry Indigo’; a new foam-dyeing process that eliminates 99% of the water typically used in dyeing its jeans.

In 2019, the brand will launch a full line of jeans dyed with the new technique to showcase the evolution of sustainable denim.

“Foam technology reduces water consumption and pollution further upstream, helping our fabric suppliers to dramatically minimize the impacts of making denim fabric blue,” said Wrangler president, Tom Waldron.

This evolved manufactured process is just one of the ways Wrangler is working to approach their broader goal to reduce water usage by five billion liters by 2020. The company has already recycled 3 billion liters of water over the past 10 years.

Considering, a single pair of jeans today takes more than 1,000 gallons to be produced, this innovation is another significant step forward.

Tejidos Royo, a Spanish fabric mill with a reputation for prioritizing environmental performance, is set to receive the new equipment this October, pioneering the foam-dye process. “Our Dry Indigo process nearly erases the environmental impact of denim dyeing and represents the next generation of denim production,” said its sales director, Jose Royo.

Sustainability is becoming ever more of a factor for consumer purchase decisions. In 2017, 33% of consumers are choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good, according to data from Accenture. The study also says that 21% of consumers would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials more clear on packaging and in marketing – representing €966bn worth of untapped opportunity for brands.

How are you thinking about textile innovation and sustainability? We’re all about helping you build strategic integrations. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Farfetch’s Neves as the Bezos of fashion, DTC physical stores driving online sales

Farfetch
Farfetch

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Is Farfetch founder Neves the Jeff Bezos of fashion? [Forbes]
  • ‘Shoppable billboards’: DTC retailers say physical stores are driving online sales [Digiday]
  • Amazon reportedly plans to open 3,000 cashier-less stores by 2021 [The Next Web]
  • Is renting designer fashion the future? [FT]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Walmart to put 1M workers in Oculus Go VR headsets [WWD]
  • Ikea’s think tank envisions self-driving cars as rooms on wheels [Quartzy]
  • Forget the new iPhones: Apple’s best product is now privacy [FastCompany]
  • Cryptocurrency is coming for the beauty industry [Fashionista]
  • Amazon launches Scout, a machine learning-powered visual shopping tool [TechCrunch]
  • RFID technology addresses consumer woes over out-of-stocks [WWD]
  • Six AI innovations that could change skincare and beauty [Dazed]
  • US and South Korea just performed the world’s first live 3D hologram call over 5G [IBTimes]
  • Teaching robots to predict the future [The Next Web]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • The environment’s new clothes: biodegradable textiles grown from live organisms [Scientific American]
  • More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Just washing them can pollute the oceans [Vox]
  • Skechers delivers 15,000 pairs of shoes to children still in need in Puerto Rico [Businesswire]
  • Where Burberry waste goes now label isn’t burning clothes any more [SCMP]
  • Is certification the answer to fashion’s ethical issues? [LS:N Global]
  • New study shows that Gen Z will strengthen sustainability trend [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Amazon Storefronts is a new retail hub exclusively for US small businesses [TheVerge]
  • Container Store tracks appointments with voice tech [RetailDive]
  • Italy’s first Starbucks serves cocktails, ice cream, and a side of augmented reality [Mashable]
  • The future of airport retail is hyper-personalization [LS:N Global]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Victoria’s Secret’s Pink revamps loyalty with mobile app [RetailDive]
  • Gucci’s surprise new Instagram account truly revitalizes its beauty offering [i-D]
  • How Nordstrom reinvented its retail loyalty program [Digiday]
  • The epic ‘Game of Go’: a real-time experience showcasing Nike’s latest React technology [TheDrum]
PRODUCT
  • Bespoke tailoring in the athleisure age: how China changed Savile Row [SCMP]
  • How De Beers learned to love lab-grown diamonds [BoF]
BUSINESS
  • Walmart is borrowing luxury’s playbook to gain an edge on Amazon in fashion [Quartz]
  • Store investment pays off as Harvey Nichols profits soar [TheIndustry]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick Retail sustainability

Levi’s announces ambitious climate action target for 2025

Levi's
Levi’s

Levi Strauss & Co. has announced a new climate action strategy that has set an ambitious target of significantly reducing its carbon emissions by 2025.

The San Francisco-based company has pledged to cut down its greenhouse gas (GHG) by 90% in all its owned-and-operated facilities, and by 40% in its supply chain.

The targets were developed in partnership with Science Based Targets, an organization that helps businesses define and execute science-based target-setting in order to fight climate change.

“We believe that business has the opportunity and the responsibility to be a force for positive change in the world,” explains Chip Bergh, president and chief executive officer at Levi’s.

The initiative of reducing carbon emissions throughout the entirety of the company’s operations also aims to set an industry standard and hopefully inspire other brands to follow suit.

Levi’s has long positioned itself as a leader in sustainable innovation, and the announcement joins a series of commitments that reinforce its ambitions to become increasingly environmentally responsible.

In February 2018, the brand announced the launch of Project F.L.X., a new operating model which reinvents the denim finishing process by introducing technology in order to reduce the use of chemicals, as well as shorten production times.

Back in 1991, the brand established one of the industry’s first supplier codes of conduct, called ‘terms of engagement’. Championed by Paul Dillinger, now head of global product innovation at the company, it ensured that ethical considerations were paid to the company’s employees and the planet. To mark its 25th anniversary in 2016, Levi’s announced it would be expanding its Worker Well-Being initiative both within and outside the company.

Meanwhile in 2017, it announced it would be joining over 2,800 American organizations in the “We Are Still In” initiative, showing continued support for the Paris Climate Agreement.

To learn more about how Levi’s is approaching innovation – in this case, through smart clothing technology – listen to our TheCurrent Innovators podcast episode with Dillinger.

Catch up with all of our episodes of TheCurrent Innovators here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick sustainability

Gucci launches online platform to promote sustainable purpose

Gucci launches Gucci Equilibrium

Gucci has launched Gucci Equilibrium, an online communications platform designed to connect “people, planet and purpose” and to bring positive change in order to secure our collective future.

The aim is to promote the label’s commitment to sustainability and transparency both to its customers as well as internally to its 13,000 employees, its suppliers and the wider Gucci family. Focusing on purpose, the site explains, is about demonstrating integrity.

“These are critical times when we can all play our part in helping to deliver on the UN Global Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement,” Gucci CEO Marco Bizarri told WWD. “The only way to do that is by bringing people together, sharing ideas, innovation and experiences. This is the objective we have set for Gucci Equilibrium.”

The name reportedly comes from a balance between the aesthetic of what the brand produces, with the ethics in which it believes. The launch is accordingly part of a 10-year sustainability plan announced by the brand, which will be anchored in three pillars: environment, people and innovation.

“Environment” sees Gucci setting the target to guarantee the traceability of 95% of its raw materials, as well as the recent announcement it is banning furs; “People” includes a series of empowerment and diversity campaigns and social initiatives; and “Innovation” focuses on scouting and incubating startups, an approach also seen with the launch of its ArtLab space.

Visiting the platform allows the user to learn more about each specific initiative Gucci is embarking on under each pillar. In doing so, the brand is providing a content platform not only to celebrate and promote its achievements, but ensure it is held accountable for its actions in-keeping with its newly announced purpose.

Gucci has also announced a company-wide program alongside encouraging staff to dedicate 1% of their working time to volunteering in local communities.