Trending: Regenerative Sourcing, Circular Models Revamping Fashion

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Written by Sustainable Brands

Two fashion giants with extensive brand portfolios announced partnerships that show promise for cleaning up “dirty fashion.”

Kering, Savory Institute team up for first verified regenerative sourcing In fashion

Luxury fashion giant Kering has announced a new collaboration with The Savory Institute — a nonprofit that facilitates large-scale regeneration of the world’s grasslands through holistic management — to illustrate the positive impact regenerative agriculture can have in the fashion industry. A first in fashion and luxury, Kering has become a Frontier Founder under Savory’s Land to Market™ program — the world’s first verified regenerative sourcing solution for meat, dairy, wool and leather — to advocate regenerative sourcing solutions and expand the regenerative agriculture framework in fashion’s global supply chains.

Through its use of agricultural raw materials, the fashion industry and its supply chains are directly linked to the degradation of soil, destruction of forests and natural ecosystems, and biodiversity loss. Regenerative agriculture can protect and reverse this environmental degradation, including restoring healthy soil, which removes CO2 from the atmosphere and acts as a carbon sink for mitigating climate change. The inclusion of regenerative raw materials is also one of the three key principles to building a circular economy in fashion

Consequently, leveraging regenerative agricultural systems for the sourcing of raw materials has the potential to be a game changer. As such, Kering has become a Frontier Founder under Savory’s Land to Market program to promote and support the regenerative production of raw materials and utilize Savory’s pioneering methodology, Ecological Outcome Verification™ (EOV), in its leather and fiber supply chains that come from grazing systems, such as wool and cashmere. EOV measures the indicators of ecosystem functionality in order to ascertain the overall health of the land and grazing systems that support the production of these raw materials. The resulting science-based and empirical data provides farmers with critical information to make better decisions and realize the ecological results from regenerative grazing.  

As an element of their collaboration, Kering and Savory will identify and develop a new network of farms that Kering will be able to access. As a first step to building regenerative supply within this network, Kering will focus on its key sourcing regions and work with Savory to support farmers pursuing and demonstrating positive ecological outcomes on their land. This will provide the Group with a new sustainable sourcing solution that verifies its key raw materials and provides traceability back to the farm. The resulting network of farms will offer a pathway towards more restorative and regenerative practices for other companies to follow and can be incorporated in fashion and luxury’s supply chains more broadly.

“Regenerative agriculture is a multi-benefit solution which supports Kering’s sustainability ambitions to mitigate our environmental impacts and deliver positive outcomes along our supply chain,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of international institutional affairs at Kering. “We are proud to collaborate with Savory to pioneer innovative and nature-based solutions in fashion as part of our broader commitment to contribute to solving our industry’s global challenges around biodiversity and climate change.”

Kering, parent company of some of the biggest names in luxury fashion — including GucciSaint LaurentBottega VenetaBalenciagaAlexander McQueen — has led the charge for sustainable luxury by taking a holistic view of its operations. In 2015, the company released its environmental profit and loss methodology to encourage wider adoption of natural capital accounting; since then, it has continued to demonstrate its commitment by committing to an SDG-aligned sustainability strategy, adopting science-based emissions targets, helped develop a biodiversity metric to help companies reduce their impacts, and joined the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Fashion Positive PLUS initiative to help develop circular solutions that can keep its material inputs in perpetual cycles of use and reuse.

“We are delighted to welcome Kering to our growing roster of Frontier Founders across sectors,” said Savory Institute CEO Daniela Ibarra-Howell. “This is an important step forward for fashion and we commend Kering’s leaders for having the foresight to build an approach to sourcing that is rooted in regenerative outcomes. It’s a win for farmers, consumers and of course, the environment on which we all depend.”

Originally published by Sustainable Brands on Dec. 7, 2018