The French luxury conglomerate, LVMH, who preside over leading fashion institutions like Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Rihanna's new Fenty range, has gone into partnership with UNESCO. The industry giant made the announcement just a couple of hours ago, posting on Instagram that the collaboration will last for five years. The plan is set to make the fashion front-runner more transparent in where it sources its materials and will more closely monitor the traceability of each house's supply chain.
What is the goal of this collaboration?
It’s all about preserving biodiversity around the world. UNESCO are supporting innovative approaches towards economic development, by working with industry leaders to make an environmental difference. Hence, they are teaming up with LVMH, to work collaboratively on an intergovernmental scientific programme called the Man and Biosphere (MAB) biodiversity program.
MAB aims to safeguard biodiversity across the planet by working with a broad range of industries to help the UN achieve their Sustainable Development Goals. The scheme already operates in 686 biosphere reserves (areas comprising of terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems) in 122 countries to ensure their preservation.
What will LVMH get out of it?
The luxury fashion houses within the LVMH framework will all benefit from UNESCO’s incomparable advice on sustainable sourcing for materials and manufacturing. In return, LVMH’s infrastructure resources will be available to be used as pilot sites for conservation, by MAB’s research projects.
Working together, the luxury fashion corporation and the specialised UN agency are bound to do great things for sustainability together. The pair also plan on contributing towards events over the next two years, such as the Convention on Biological Diveristy in China, 2020.
What is going to change?
According to the LVMH statement, their targets will be as follows:
• ‘Products' target to improve the environmental performance of its products by 2020.
• ‘Supply chain’ target to monitor traceability of materials and ingredients used to make products. Aiming to apply this to 100% of their procurement chains by 2020.
• ‘Climate change’target to reduce CO2 emissions from energy consumption by 25% by 2020.
• ‘Sites’ target to be aware of water and energy consumption and waste production, in an effort to improve environmental performance indicators.
Not only are LVMH committing to these targets as a whole, certain fashion houses within the conglomerate are also doing their bit and pledging to their own goals. Guerlain have a history of committing to sustainabilitythrough the work they do protecting honeybees, and Hennessy have already achieved their sustainable goals six years ahead of time in sustainable agriculture.
Words: Maeve Campbell