How Prada Put Sustainability Into Action — From Innovation To Education

What Happened: On December 9, Prada hosted the latest episode of Your Prada Possible Conversations at the Beijing SKP-S mall. Launched this April, the series of live talks between thinkers, cultural tastemakers, and fashion figures has revolved around the post-pandemic global socio-cultural scene. This edition’s topic “Ocean, Source of Tomorrow” derives from Prada’s on-going Re-Nylon initiative that aims to use recycled and purified plastic collected from the ocean and incorporate it into new products by using the house’s craftsmanship and innovation.

Featuring surfer Monica Guo, actor Luo Jin, architect and professor Lyla Wu, and swimmer Ning Zetao — all participating via video and being moderated by Lena Yang, CEO of WWD China — the talk focused on the significance of ocean resources and conservation. The panelists shared their respective personal engagement with the ocean and insights on conservation, recycling, and social responsibility. The talk was also livestreamed via Prada’s official WeChat Mini Program, delivering a unique digital experience to over 107,000 attendees.

Moreover, Prada’s sister brand Miu Miu is also approaching sustainability with a modern twist, exhibiting its “Upcycled by Miu Miu” collection featuring 80 recycled vintage dresses at nine boutiques across the world starting on December 10.

Jing Take: The fashion industry has worked hard to make sustainability more than merely a buzzword since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The massive disruption caused by the crisis has started to alter the profitability mindset of the industry, which pre-COVID-19, was structured around more products do not necessarily lead to better financial results, as highlighted by the State of Fashion 2021 report released by McKinsey & Company and The Business of Fashion. The report also noted that a collective effort will be required to achieve some form of circularity in the fashion economy. And moderator Yang endorsed this point, asserting that the dispute of whether brands or consumers should take precedence over the other is not favorable to give impetus to the agenda.

By substituting nylon with regenerated nylon in their future collections, Prada has made sustainability more accessible and tangible to consumers. Meanwhile, by working with public figures, Oceanography experts, as well as the non-governmental agency UNESCO instead of celebrities, Prada is helping consumers organically engage in this topic, which will facilitate a longer-term educational impact.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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