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Kering and Parsons Team Up to Forge the Future of Sustainable Fashion Design

Kering My EP&L app
Photo: Kering’s free My EP&L app

Luxury conglomerate Kering and The New School’s Parsons School of Design are teaming up to teach fashion students about the environmental impact of their creations.

Kering, owner of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, among others, announced a new collaboration with the New York-based school Thursday that will leverage the Kering x Parsons: EP&L program pilot and the free My EP&L app.

As part of this partnership, the French company will introduce new modules to Parsons’ fashion program, offered to students in three senior Systems & Society Thesis sections and two Materiality Thesis sections. Students will also get the chance to study Kering’s Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) methodology, which measures and monetizes the environmental impacts of the business’ activities across the entire supply chain.

In addition, Kering will embed practical lessons in sustainability into the school’s curriculum via the My EP&L app, an easy and visual tool that can be used to teach design students how to assess and compare various materials, like cashmere, wool, organic cotton and leather, and understand how their choices influence carbon emissions, water use, pollution, waste, and the like. Those choices are then then analyzed from an underlying 5,000-plus indicators to calculate a product’s final environmental impact.

“My EP&L illustrates the power of an Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) analysis and will assist fashion designers to easily calculate better options in real time in order to embed sustainability into their products at the very beginning of the design phase,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs at Kering.

Students’ thesis projects will then be evaluated and scored on both design and sustainability criteria. The top 10 designs will appear in an exhibition following the course, hosted by Kering and Parsons.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to advocate the importance of sustainability with the next generation entering our industry, we are excited to expand our Parsons collaboration with a view to sharing My EP&L with further educational institutions following the pilot,” Daveau continued.

“We are excited to collaborate with Kering on this important initiative for our students,” said Burak Cakmak, dean of fashion at Parsons. “Sustainability education is vital for our students and with Kering’s help, Parsons will be educating the next generation of fashion industry leaders who can create powerful change.”