With more and more brands heeding the call to become sustainable and environmentally responsible, the term isn’t just a buzz word or fad these days.
Cartier marked Earth Day which fell on April 22 this year by announcing that it is joining the CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge. The call to action was first issued by Gucci president and chief executive Marco Bizzarri to companies to draw a robust action plans to tackle climate crisis such as taking full responsibility and accountability for the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Meanwhile, Valentino has inked an agreement with Air France and KLM to support the airline group’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel programme which is focused on the research, development and production of sustainable fuels as alternative energy sources for flying – a choice that can see CO2 emissions reduced by up to 80 per cent.
Through the SAF programme, Valentino, which is a corporate client of these airlines, can make an estimate of the carbon dioxide emissions associated with its corporate travel, and successively determine the annual contribution it would like to give to the programme.
On the retail front, fast fashion brands which used to be notorious for wastage, have pledged to go green. H&M has announced its commitment to have 100 per cent of materials and products sustainably sourced by 2023. Back in 2019, Asos pledged to train design and product teams about circular design by 2020, and launch recycling programs in the UK and Germany.
Ocean Sole is a social enterprise that upcycles flip-flops washed up in waterways in Kenya. More than 150 full-time employees and flip-flop suppliers (left) work with the company to give plastic waste a second, more long-lasting life – including as the materials for Chloe’s range of Lou sandals (right).
Sustainability seems to be the next frontier for luxury brands as well. In 2021, Loewe launched The Surplus Project, where scrap leather was used to create the label’s signature woven basket bag.
Chloe also plans on increasing the use of lower-impact materials (organic, recycled and deadstock) and fair trade sourcing across all categories by 2025. In its Fall/Winter 2021 collection, more than half of the silk used was organic and 80 per cent of the cashmere yarn recycled.
The brand has also teamed up with Ocean Sole, a social enterprise that upcycles rubber flip-flops, which have been found washed-up along the beaches and waterways in Kenya. These discarded shoes, are given a makeover and turned in to materials for a range of multi-coloured Lou platform sandals accented with crochet trimmings.
While tackling the climate crisis should also be approached from the standpoint of consumers reassessing their relationship with overconsumption and disposal, the prevalence of lower-impact materials and eco-friendly items today do provide us an opportunity to recalibrate our shopping habits.
Scroll on for a taste of how you can sustainable shopping a part of your everyday choices beyond Earth Day.
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