rince Charles hailed a new digital ID for fashion brands, saying he was “so grateful” that customers can now make ethical decisions about where to shop.
The Prince, in Rome for the G20, met with CEOs of the world’s biggest fashion brands to see their work making the industry more sustainable.
In the gardens of the British Embassy, the Prince witnessed a demonstration of digital ID in action.
He was shown items including a Chloe poncho and Armani jacket scanned on a cell phone, as details of their manufacture and the origin of the materials were revealed.
“I am very grateful to all of you,” he told the assembled CEOs, gathered as part of the Prince’s Fashion Task Force by President Federico Marchetti.
He asked executives about their green credentials, from the amount of water used in fabric production to the leather breed of handbags of cattle.
He was greeted at the embassy by British Ambassador Jill Morris, with the couple walking through the picturesque gardens via a vegetable patch.
They were joined by Mr. Marchetti, who has been working for a year to bring together key brands in favor of digital ID, before it spread to the fashion industry.
At a small reception, he introduced the Prince to Andre Cameran from Giorgio Armani, Simon Cotton from Johnstons of Elgin, Thierry Andretta from Mulberry, Riccardo Bellini from Chloe, Brunello Cucinelli from the eponymous brand, and Natasha Franck from EON who provided the technology to make identification happen.
The ‘breakthrough’ technology was showcased using labels from two British brands, a Johnstons of Elgin scarf and light blue Mulberry handbag, as well as a Chloe poncho and Armani jacket, which uses duvets recycled from mattresses to keep guests warm.
“You did it so fast!” the Prince marveled, addressing Mrs. Franck in a list of the main actors of the Taskforce.
Suggesting that ethical brands would benefit from the transparency of people knowing how much effort they are putting into sustainability, she told him, “Most of the time, all of these investments are invisible to the customer, so digital ID will allow people to have to.
The prince asked the Armani team about the production methods and – looking at the scarf – asked Mr. Cotton of Johnstons of Elgin if the company should provide any new information for the identification of each product.
Seeing the Mulberry bag, he asked if it was leather before asking Mr Andretta if it was from a particular breed of cattle and from the UK.
Hearing that it came from regenerative farming methods and was low carbon, the prince said he wanted “people to know the value” of ethically produced leather in “the economy”. circular ”compared to plastic or synthetic materials“ strange yarns ”.
“That’s why it’s so encouraging to realize this,” he said of the digital ID information.
“How long will it take for all of your products to be affected,” he asked, hearing that it would likely be in the next collections season, fall / winter 2022.
“I am so grateful to all of you,” the prince added.
The Fashion Taskforce is part of the Prince’s Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI).
A spokesperson said digital ID will allow key players in the fashion value chain – including manufacturers, brands, retailers, resellers and recyclers – to provide seamless transparency and traceability. precedent of the products they sell.
It will also unlock new circular services for customers, such as maintenance and repair services, as well as those focused on resale and recycling, they said.
Federico Marchetti, President of the Fashion Taskforce and founder of the YOOX NET-A-PORTER group, said: “The time for speeches is over. In such a highly competitive industry, it is unprecedented that so many different brands and platforms around the world are working together on a single innovative solution, and I am delighted to say that this commitment is the result of an incredible group of companies. and their leaders. who recognize that there is no more time to waste in the industry’s transition to a more transparent and sustainable base.
“This digital ID offers a real opportunity for consumers to make truly sustainable choices when shopping.
“In an industry that needs to do a lot more to improve its impact on the environment, this is a big step forward and just the start of the task force’s journey. “
In a statement, the Prince of Wales said of the task force: ‘People have a right to know if what they buy is created in a sustainable way and it is the responsibility to tell them if we really believe in shared principles of transparency, accountability and enforcement.
“Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, but this new digital ID shows how companies are committing to a meaningful and measurable change: providing customers with the information they need to make better choices. cleaner, healthier and more sustainable. This shows that companies are not just talking about these issues, but taking action.
The task force also includes Burberry, Gabriela Hearst, Stella McCartney, Selfridges, Vestiaire Collective, Modo Operandi, Zalanda and the Dubai retailer.
Prince Charles hailed a new digital ID for fashion brands, saying he was “so grateful” that customers can now make ethical decisions about where to shop.