Prada swaps leather for nylon to create green luxury


Italian luxury fashion house Prada is stepping up its sustainability efforts by trying to reduce its carbon footprint, using more recycled nylon and looking at alternatives to leather.

In fiscal 2020, Prada underperformed its peers on environmental issues and lagged behind in corporate governance, according to ESG scores compiled by Bloomberg. Since then there has been progress.

“We’re B minus for CDP at the moment and want to become an A as soon as possible,” said Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada’s head of corporate social responsibility, referring to CDP, a nonprofit group that measures the environmental impact of companies. “We assume that we will improve our score already this year.”

Mr. Bertelli, the next CEO in line, is the son of Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada, who together have turned the Milan-based company into one of the most renowned fashion brands in the world.

Mr. Bertelli joined Prada’s board of directors in 2021. He also serves on a board-level committee focused on environmental and social sustainability issues.

Prada has tried to brush up on its sustainability credentials in recent years. In November 2021, Prada announced it would use more eco-friendly materials in its products and packaging and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of its efforts to become carbon neutral.

While sustainability ratings are “fundamental” for assessing the ecology of companies, they fail to capture the nuances of individual business models, Mr Bertelli said in an interview on Tuesday.

That applies to the assessment of modern slavery in Prada’s supply chain, he said. “We produce almost all of our products in Italy, compared to big fast fashion companies that produce abroad,” said Mr. Bertelli. “Even the fact that you produce in Italy should be counted towards the lasting effect.”

In 2019, Prada issued the luxury industry’s first sustainability-linked loan, an instrument that offers a lower interest rate if certain sustainability goals are met.

“We are making positive progress towards each of the goals,” said Mr. Bertelli. “At the moment the group does not need any further loans because we have a positive cash flow.” Prada swaps leather for nylon to create green luxury

Fry Electronics Team

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