Sustainability in fashion: An event at the British Embassy, Paris
Fanny Fortin, CPL France
CPL France recently had the great opportunity to attend a fashion week event at the British Embassy in Paris, in collaboration with the London College of Fashion.
The event collected insights into the future of sustainability in fashion from industry experts at Kering, the global luxury group, as well as Stella McCartney, Ethical Fashion Forum and London College of Fashion. More than ever, sustainable practices will determine the future of every business. Four speakers discussed the subject and outlined the sustainability requirements they saw for companies now and going forward.
Develop awareness alongside innovation
Claire Bergkamp (Stella McCartney's Head of Sustainability and Ethical Trade)
In terms of sustainability, Stella McCartney is a pioneer. They are working with integrity following a new business model – a circular economy that focuses on responsible management of all materials, throughout the business. Moreover, they ensure complete awareness of the specific origins of all materials. For all companies, it is now a requirement to communicate fully on how raw materials are sourced, and the working conditions of the producers.
Claire also talked about the importance of innovation in order to be more sustainable. Part of this is concerned with sourcing other types of materials: she took the example of spider silk that offers new possibilities for design in the future.
Actively empower women
Frances Corner (Professor & Head of London College of Fashion)
85% of the students in London College of Fashion are women, but it is still mostly men that attain the top jobs and responsibilities. Frances talked of the need to actively empower women.
Education, she says, is the key. Student and young people are tomorrow’s workers. It is not too late to educate people – the LCF offers an online class (18 hours) to understand a more sustainable working life.
Promote synergistic effects
Marie-Claire Daveu (Kering’s Chief Sustainability Officer)
Gucci and all the biggest brands that make up the Kering group are fully aware of sustainable practices, and François-Henri Pinault (CEO of Kering since 2005) is heavily involved in promoting this understanding.
90% of the carbon footprint is linked with the supply chain. They encourage everyone to be involved and open-minded. There are many criteria to respect, and they share many “best practices”. Nevertheless, it is crucial not to kill the creativity.
Kering believes in the synergistic effect. This is why they are targeting other key actors like the LVMH group in order for their sustainability efforts to be more powerful. LVMH is also interested in following this holistic approach. As everything is faster and faster in the ‘fast fragrance’ world, as well as the ‘fast fashion’ world, this is an idea fragrances businesses could have in mind to always stay ethical.
Educate to change cultural habits
Tamsin Lejeune (Founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum & CEO of the Ethical Fashion Group and Common Objective, a platform that helps fashion professionals succeed in business).
Tasmin focused on gender parity, low wages and the fact that we urgently need to change our spirit and attitude.
Ethical processes depend on the brands, the divisions and the cultural habits. In order to evolve, it is also relevant to educate consumers.
This conference was an interesting opportunity to explore the links between the fashion and fragrance industries, and to hear about the inspiring practices that contribute to the success of our business.
The event featured work from students of London College of Fashion, dealing with the key issues of sustainability in the industry (shown right and above.)