Kering to utilise regenerative agriculture for raw materials

brett mathews | 6th December 2018

PARIS – French luxury apparel group Kering has announced a new collaboration with The Savory Institute to utilise the positive impact regenerative agriculture can have in the fashion industry. As part of the work, Kering has become a Frontier Founder under Savory’s Land to Market programme to promote and support the regenerative production of raw materials. Kering will utilise Savory’s methodology, Ecological Outcome Verification (EOVTM), in its leather and fibre supply chains that come from grazing systems, such as wool and cashmere.

EOV measures the indicators of ecosystem functionality to determine the 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 information to make better decisions and realise the ecological results from regenerative grazing.

Through its use of agricultural raw materials, the fashion industry and its supply chains are directly linked to the degradation of soil, conversion of natural ecosystems and biodiversity loss. Regenerative agriculture aims to 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.

As part of their work, Kering and Savory will identify and develop a new network of farms that Kering will be able to access. As a first step to build regenerative supply within this network, Kering will focus on its key sourcing regions and work together with Savory to support farmers pursuing and demonstrating positive ecological outcomes on their land. This will provide Kering with a new sustainable sourcing solution that verifies its key raw materials and provides traceability back to the farm. Furthermore, it is hoped 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.”

“We are delighted to welcome Kering to our growing roster of Frontier Founders across sectors,” said Daniela Ibarra-Howell, Savory Institute’s CEO. “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.”

The Savory Institute, a US charity, facilitates large-scale regeneration of the world’s grasslands through holistic management.