Kering and London College of Fashion put sustainability in the spotlight

A new sustainable fashion conference, an award for sustainable fashion and a sustainable design course are all features of a new partnership between French fashion conglomerate Kering and the London College of Fashion (LCF).

The partnership, which officially begins today (29 October), brings together the combined strength of educators and business leaders to support sustainable practices and innovation throughout the industry.

Kering, whose brands include Gucci, Stella McCartney and Puma, says the five-year agreement with LCF’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion will ‘play a key role as an incubator for new ways of thinking about sustainable fashion’. 

“Our shared vision on the importance of empowering young talent, combined with our industry knowledge, will encourage the next generation of fashion professionals to place sustainability at the heart of their future careers,” said Kering’s chairman and chief executive François-Henri Pinault. “Our collaboration will help make sustainable fashion a business reality.”

The Kering and Centre for Sustainable Fashion partnership will begin with three main projects: –

> The Kering Talks – Visionaries and business leaders from the fashion industry will speak on the latest developments in the area of sustainable fashion, sharing new thinking and breakthroughs in best practice. The first Kering Talk will take place later today at the London College of Fashion, with Pinault giving the inaugural talk.

> The Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion – Kering brands and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion will run an annual student contest which will focus on specific and real-life industry challenges. The contest will require students to provide creative and achievable solutions to a project brief defined by Kering. Two winners will be awarded a monetary grant and an internship placement within Kering brands.

> Sustainable Design Course – Kering and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion CSF will share their business and academic expertise to create a full course module taught each year at the London College of Fashion. The module will focus on the role sustainability must play today and provide students with knowledge and tools for their future professional life. This initiative will also aim to develop a pioneering academic framework which could inspire other educational institutions in the future.

Professor Frances Corner, head of LCF and pro-vice chancellor of University of the Arts London, said: “Kering’s commitment to sustainability mirrors our own ethos of Better Lives – using fashion to transform lives and create a more sustainable future. Sustainability in business is no longer an adjunct; it has to be integral to a new way of working.

“By collaborating with Kering in three key areas, placing people and our environment at the heart of what would do, we can make real progress. Using our combined strengths as educators and business leaders, we are uniquely placed to come up with creative and transformative solutions.”

The first Kering Talk can be followed today on Twitter by using #LCFxKering.

Earlier this month, the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) launched a sustainable fashion award of its ownbacked by Defra and the British Fashion Council, to celebrate designers that can reduce the environmental impact of clothes. 

Luke Nicholls

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