Prada have announced that by 2021 , their nylon production will consist of completely recyclable materials. Nylon being a key fabric in Prada's collections, this announcement is a key driver for their new environmental based business plan.
Lorenzo Bertelli, the Italian fashion house’s Head of Marketing and Communication has announced the group’s goal to “convert all Prada virgin nylon into Re-Nylon by the end of 2021”. This project highlights the brands continued efforts to support and promote a responsible business model.
This announcement comes in partnership with the release of the Re-Nylon collection. A collection of six gender neutral bags with classic styles including backpacks, tote bags and travel bags. A percentage of the sales made from this collection will be donated to helping environmental sustainability. Prada have also partnered with UNESCO to develop educational materials and activities to get students involved with environmental sustainability.
ECONYL, the nylon material produced for Re-Nylon, is made through a process of recycling and purifying old fishing nets, plastic collected from oceans and textile fabric waste. The creation of ECONYL comes from the partnership between Prada and Italian textile yarn producer Aquafil. A business known for its investment into research and development into sustainable materials. While some maybe thinking that the use of recycled materials will have an effect on quality, Prada have guaranteed that the quality of their Re-Nylon products will not be affected.
In conjunction with the release of the Re-Nylon range, Prada have released a series of short films documenting the cutting edge innovation being made within their manufacturing process, the first episode titled 'What We Carry' can be seen below.
With Prada’s big plans for sustainability, what are other luxury fashion houses doing to try and combat fashion waste and commit to a greener future?
LVMH, the house which owns labels such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, have a slightly different approach when It comes to battling fashion waste. The LVMH view is more focused on education and incorporating their employees as participants. The group focuses on raising their employee’s awareness of environmental waste as well as teaching and training them on the protection of natural resources.
“Gucci is committed to a culture of purpose putting environmental and social impact at the heart of the brand”, Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci.
Gucci released an innovative sustainability plan to see the brand into the next decade. The 10-year plan not only focuses on the environmental impact which the brand will have but also the social and cultural impact it will make. Gucci’s efforts to reduce their carbon footprint will include energy saving stores, offices, warehouse and supply chain whilst also reducing the amount of water, paper and waste used in these four areas as well as their production sites. They have also guaranteed the traceability of 95% of their raw materials meaning customers can see where the product has come from and how it was made.
Burberry have set themselves a target to become completely carbon neutral by 2022. trying to achieve this by not only creating innovative solutions for their manufacturing and supply chain, but also by reducing emissions and becoming more energy efficient in the in house offices and stores.
Stella McCartney Is well known for themes of animal rights and sustainability. They have a well-rounded sustainability plan especially when it comes to the materials they use. Stella McCartney have programmes from sourcing organic cotton, recycled nylon and polyester, vegetarian leather and fur-free products. One thing that they also touch on is sourcing metal that has a left harmful impact on the environment. Metal is one thing that the other luxury fashion houses seem to miss out, Stella McCartney however are looking at ways where they can invest in low-impact and recyclable metals.
What could this mean for 'fast-fashion'?
Although there is a long way to go in terms of reducing their carbon footprint, fashion houses such as Prada are making big steps to making their brands as sustainable as possible. One question still remains however, what impact could this have on fast fashion manufacturing? As we all know, fashion is a massive contributor to the devastating global environmental crisis, in more ways than one. With fast fashion being one of the biggest contributors in terms of waste, could the luxury fashion house’s approach on sustainability have a trickle-down effect into fast fashion?
Time will tell, but one things for certain, something must change in both the ways brands manufacture clothes and the way we consume them.