“People need to realise that sustainability is an opportunity, not a constraint,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer at Kering. The French company, which owns brands including Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga, was recently named the world’s most sustainable apparel, luxury and textile goods business, and has partnered with the London College of Fashion (LCF) to introduce the first open-access online program dedicated to sustainability and luxury fashion.
The launch of the six-week course, titled ‘Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World’, was announced by Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault at an event during London Fashion Week. While industry interest and awareness surrounding the issue of sustainability has been increasing over the years, there have been very few resources available for brands and designers who want to be more environmentally conscious, and the new certificate program has been designed to address the complex and interconnected sustainability challenges facing fashion. “Sustainability is something that you have to start from the early stages [of a company.] It needs time and is a long-term approach [if you want] to able to execute a strong strategy and action plan,” said Devau.
Consisting of a mix of films, podcasts, activities and discussions, the open-access course, co-developed by academics from LCF and Kering’s sustainability experts, is built on six key modules, covering both the theoretical aspects of sustainability as well as real-life business issues that luxury brands face, including sourcing raw materials, animal welfare and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And it has been trialled by a group of British Fashion Council-nominated young British designers to ensure its relevance to industry professionals.
To be completed online and at each student's own pace, the course, which covers a total of 18 teaching hours, has been designed around those who are working as well as in full time education. “This is an opportunity for everyone to follow this training wherever they are,” said Devau.
‘Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World’ launches on 9th April, and will then be run several times throughout the year. Learn more here.