(1st posted June 2021)
The world is a different place from where it was even 18 months ago. For years, people with extensive knowledge in eco-friendly matters have called out for climate change, an end to deforestation, a reduction in carbon emissions and sharper focus on biodiversity. There’s no doubt, the pandemic has exacerbated the situation and more people than ever before are sitting up and taking notice of what needs to be done to look after the world that we live in. It’s good to see some superbrands and global names buying into an eco-friendly approach to business. At PapillonKia, we are strong advocates of sustainability and we’ve certainly noticed the circular economy take great leaps – especially since the pandemic began. We are proud to be an integral part of the circular economy, whenever we purchase a preloved item or sell one on, we feel excited that we’re helping to protect the world that we live in.
Chanel’s Sustainable Solutions
Only recently, Selfridges launched a pre-loved pop up, aptly called “Resellfridges”. A year ago, Gucci partnered with a pre-loved reseller following in the footsteps of Stella McCartney and Burberry. Two years ago, Chanel banned the use of exotic skins in their products, now they’re set on taking sustainability to another level and we applaud them for doing so! The company recently announced a three-year partnership with CISL – the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, to delve deeper into the topic of sustainable solutions. It will also feature a selection of climate change, sustainability and biodiversity experts to advise and innovate.
This extraordinary partnership will raise sustainability awareness, drive education programmes surrounding the topic to deepen knowledge and create projects to steer better sustainability (amongst other strategies, such as encouraging better inclusion by supporting underrepresented students through scholarships and sponsorship). Using Chanel’s fashion knowledge and combining it with the university’s expertise, the aim is to advance sustainable solutions, to bring it to the forefront of the fashion industry so it leads, rather than follows. Within the strategy, Chanel and CISL will examine how to reduce carbon emissions, avoid poisonous gas use and research what can be done to prevent further loss of biodiversity and climate change.
Through this initiative, Chanel has committed itself to better use of materials, not only for its luxury products but also in manufacturing, supply chain and business operations. Additionally, the project will help to determine the leaders of tomorrow and inspiring individuals will be invited to join the CISL’s Masters in Sustainability Leadership programme.
Gucci - One Tree Planted
Gucci is another company that continues to innovate its business to make it more sustainable. It donates to One Tree Planted (non-profit reforestation initiative). Its own resale demand grew 19% in 2019/2020 and to bolster preloved, Gucci is now partnered with a second-hand clothing and accessories business.
While Chanel, Gucci, Burberry, and Stella McCartney are some of the superbrands that support the circular economy there needs to be more, and it would be wonderful if the big brands partnered with some of the smaller preloved sellers too. It is well-known that the clothing and accessories industry needs to transform, limit pollution, enhance recycling and innovate better by reusing existing fabrics and materials. At PapillonKia we would like to see more superbrands play their role in sustainability and be a part of the circular movement. It’s not just down to individuals to be more sustainable, by buying preloved designer wear that nowadays, is just as coveted, if not more, than a brand-new piece. We need to all do it together, superbrands, designer brands, high street brands, general retailers and of course, consumers.