September 15, 2017
British retailer Matchesfashion.com is teaming up with sustainability consultancy Eco-Age in an effort to make its entire operations more ethical.
According to the brand, retail is currently facing a tipping point, as consumers increasingly desire more sustainable options. Per Matchesfashion, its own employees are also passionate about finding more environmentally-friendly options, a goal that this program will build off.
About two-thirds of customers today seek out sustainable fashion. This majority is changing how retailers do business, forcing them to adapt to retain existing clientele and attract new shoppers.
Taking this need for change to heart, Matchesfashion is consulting the sustainability expertise of Eco-Age. Together, the partners have been spending the last few months evaluating Matchesfashion’s business, looking for potential impacts to the environment and social justice.
Looking ahead, this program plans to extend its oversight and adaptation to its suppliers and brand partners.
“In our 30th year of business, we wanted to be sure the business was looking to the future of the industry, the second largest polluter in the planet,” said Ruth Chapman, co-founder and executive co-chairman of Matchesfashion, in a statement. “With our reputation for pioneering and nurturing fashion talent we are proud to continue to innovate by focusing our energies on addressing some of these issues within our own business and our broader supply chain.
“We hope to bring awareness to our brands, employees and customers and therefore spearhead change, however incremental, over the coming years,” she said. “Eco-Age are without doubt the best partners for us to learn from as we begin this project.”
Ruth Chapman, Eco-Age creative director Livia Firth and Matchesfashion co-founder Tom Champman. Image credit: Eco-Age
In addition to Matchesfashion, Eco-Age counts clients such as Lane Crawford, Chopard, Kering and Net-A-Porter.
Along with consulting, Eco-Age runs a Green Carpet Challenge, which gives sustainable fashion a public platform through events.
For instance, footwear and accessories brand Sergio Rossi partnered with creative director Livia Firth’s Eco-Age to become the first accessories label offering a Green Carpet Collection, a wardrobe emphasizing sustainability.
The collection, made available in 2015, was created entirely in Italy and included organic silk yarn, spun and woven in the country, lead-free Swarovski Advanced crystals, European chrome-free leather and Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood. The volume of the collection goes to show that sustainability does not compromise quality and that environmentally sustainable clothing need not be a niche market (see story).