News: Chanel and Cambridge University sustainability partnership

A three-year cooperation between Chanel and CISL to promote sustainability and inclusion

Chanel Store Milan sustainability
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Author: House of Eden

  • Chanel and CISL partnership to promote sustainability and inclusion
  • Key projects are planned to be implemented over three years
  • Promising prototype for the fashion industry on an academic level

In order to further reach its sustainability goals, the fashion house Chanel is partnering with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) . The cooperation will deal with specific topics over three years and accelerate mutual areas of work.

With this the luxury brand follows an announcement by rival LVMH about an extension of its partnership with Central Saint Martins College of Art London, which has existed since 2011. Their new initiative called "Maison / 0 for Regenerative Luxury" aims to provide students with creative education with regards to regenerative design in the luxury market .

Three main workstreams form the partnership between CISL and Chanel

  1. Education program for sustainable leadership: CISL supports Chanel with an educational program for the management as well as for employees from selected operational teams. The aim is to raise awareness and sharpen the understanding for environmental issues such as biodiversity, climate change and sustainable sourcing of raw materials.
  2. Promotion of sustainable innovation: Insights and expertise from across Cambridge University are brought together to advance innovation and identify key challenges and opportunities in the fashion industry
  3. Scholarships to strengthen inclusion: In return, Chanel will sponsor individuals from under-represented backgrounds, for participation in the CISL program “Masters in Sustainability Leadership”.

Andrea d'Avack, Chanel's Chief Sustainability Officer, said: “The climate crisis represents the biggest issue of our age and demands urgent action to reduce negative environmental impacts and drive broader change. It is our conviction that businesses have a clear role to play, alongside governments and civil society, to help protect the world’s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems from the consequences of climate change."

Chanel's climate mission aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 2030% until 2

With its climate protection strategy called “Chanel Mission 1,5 °”, the fashion house aims to reduce its own CO2 footprint by 2030% until 50. At the same time, activities are being taken outside of its own business activities in order to balance its residual CO2 emissions .

This also includes reducing emissions within the supply chain. By 2030, these are targeted to be reduced by 40% per unit sold (compared to 2018). Further efforts are aimed at responsible procurement and production as well as the sourcing sustainable natural raw materials. For this, the brand strives to build close partnerships with its suppliers.

The company also plans to switch to 2025% renewable energy by 100 . Outside of its operations the luxury label is investing in in nature-based solutions, such as projects for the protection and restoration of forests, mangroves and moors. In addition, social projects are being financed, with the intention to enable vulnerable communities to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Conclusion - Promising cooperation to be watched with caution

Overall, all of the above are good and measurable goals. However, a large number of detailed actions with ambitious approaches would be required in order to establish a truly sustainable mindset within the company. Nonetheless, this kind of cooperation on an academic level is a promising prototype, that actually other fashion brands could replicate. The success therefore still needs to be observed.

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