9 Commitments and Initiatives Inspiring Innovation and Collaboration In February

Since the start of 2021, brands, organisations and campaigners have been putting sustainability issues at the forefront of their work. Here are just a few that caught our eye in February. 

The coming of a new year brought with it a renewed meaning to sustainability, as conversation moved from a reset towards new possibilities for industries across the globe. The challenges 2020 posed to businesses and supply chains are yet to subside, but across fashion and jewellery sectors collaboration and innovation have taken centre stage.

While fast fashion companies are forging new ties in order to survive it’s inspiring to see that on the other end of the spectrum, long-term sustainability work and social justice issues are top of many brands’ priority lists. From financial commitments towards diversity and inclusion to promising sustainability strategies, here are just a few milestones that have stood out in recent months.

A Promise of Sustainability Success

In a virtual aperitivo last week, Italian fine jewellery brand Recarlo launched its sustainability strategy with support from Eco-Age. Founded in 1967, the family-run company has worked with expert artisans from Valenza, a region renowned for its history of high quality craftsmanship – and Recarlo’s artisans take centre stage in the short film ‘Our Promise To You’, which was shared with guests at the launch event.

“Our promise is to show that love exists throughout the supply chain, for people and for the environment,” said Giorgio Re, Recarlo’s Chief Executive Officer. ‘Our Promise to You’ embodies Recarlo’s commitments to contributing to a positive change within the fine jewellery industry. With tradition and artisanship firmly at the core, the new strategy focuses on three key pillars: People, Planet and Product. Commitments include increasing supply chain transparency and forging meaningful partnerships across the industry to foster innovation.

Biodegradable Denim Becomes Fabric of Choice

Candiani Denim’s COREVA™ Stretch Technology has been the star of recent capsule collection collaborations. German brand CLOSED worked with Candiani to develop a 100% biodegradable collection crafted with COREVA™ and organic cotton, swapping out metal buttons for natural alternatives and using Tencel thread throughout. Most recently the Italian mill collaborated with Kings of Indigo, a Dutch brand pioneering innovation within sustainable fashion, on a collection made for those who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd. ‘Swim Upstream‘ turns the tide with standout designs that have impressive eco-credentials to match.

Designing with Diamonds

The Natural Diamond Council and jewellery designer Lorraine Schwartz have recently come together to introduce the Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative, a programme that will provide opportunities for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) jewellery designers based in the United States. One million dollars of diamond credit will be allocated through the initiative which takes the shape of a one-year programme including education seminars, networking opportunities, as well as access to production, finance, legal and supply chain resources for the selected designers. Lorraine Schwarts, Jason Rembert, Nicole Chapoteau and David Kellie will collectively review and select successful applicants until the full funding amount has been distributed. Find out more.

A New Digital Content Course

Tommy Hilfiger has partnered with FutureLearn, a platform transforming access to education. Together, they will host a series of free workshops; sustainable living, intersectional identity and body positivity are just a few of the topics that the series will explore, with speakers including Jameela Jamil, The Compton Cowboys and Indya Moore. Sign up here.

Image: Kings of Indigo and Candiani Collaboration
Image: The Compton Cowboys, speakers in Tommy Hilfiger and FutureLearn's upcoming course series

Taking A ‘Fashion Fast’ 

Labour Behind The Label has set a six-week long challenge, taking the form of a ‘fashion fast to oppose fast fashion’. From February 17th to March 30th, the fundraising initiative will support the campaigning group’s work in fighting for justice for garment workers, with participants committing to wear six items of clothing for six weeks. The challenge will draw much-needed attention to the harmful impact of fast fashion from both a human rights and environmental perspective. Up to the challenge? Here’s how to take part

Diesel’s ‘When Together’

On Valentine’s Day, Diesel shared its SS21 campaign with the world. Titled ‘When Together’, the short film is ‘a portrait of absence and desire’, which spotlights eight couples and provides a vividly authentic depiction of the intense emotions experienced by lovers separated and once again reunited. Created by Diesel’s Creative Director Glenn Martens and directed by Cheryl Dunn, the campaign’s refreshing snapshots of ‘real life, right now’ are both urgently timely and hopeful. 

Choosing Love For Valentine’s

Choose Love’s mission to provide life-saving and life-changing items and services for refugees and displaced people  has always inspired the Eco-Age team. On February 13th, the organisation hosted a very special ‘Love In Action’ event, bringing together artists and members of its partner organisations to “celebrate love and unity in a world that feels like we are all separated in a way like never before,” said Josie Naughton, the organisation’s co-founder and CEO. Anoushka Shankar, Emmanuel Jal, Gabrielle Aplin and Shingai took to the (virtual) stage during the inspiring hour-long occasion while Choose Love’s partners in Greece, Lebanon and the UK shared uplifting insights with the digital audience. 

Spreading the community love even further, Jameela Jamil hosted a self-love celebration alongside Queenie Hilfer and Britteny Floyd-Mayo, with raffle ticket proceeds going to Choose Love too.

Image: Diesel's 'When Together' Campaign
Image: The Natural Diamond Council's Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative

A Video Course Into Anti-Slavery

The International Justice Mission today launches a six-week video course sharing informative and inspiring episodes from guest speakers and experts on the topic of slavery within supply chains. Safia Minney, Aja Barber and Grace Forrest will be among the speakers sharing their insights throughout the series, alongside tips for consumers on ensuring that the products they buy do not contribute towards modern slavery. To ensure you don’t miss an episode, subscribe to the video series for the weekly installments and for access to an informative online resource too.

Coming Together for Global Feminism

Lola Lennox and Great British Bake Off winner David Atherton recently hosted a bake-along in aid of The Circle NGO and its ongoing work to achieve equality for women and girls. “The world is set up where women are having to push a lot harder to get to a place of security and safety,” said Lola, as she and David reflected on the role their mothers’ have respectively played in inspiring the pair to support global feminism. The event brought attention to The Circle’s ongoing work in support of women’s empowerment efforts globally, including supporting garment workers and raising awareness around menstrual and reproductive health with Irise International.