Sustainability is not really a new concept in the world of fashion and accessories – however, it is one which has taken on a new lease of life over the past decade, as companies and brands across all levels of the industry commit to new regulations and operate under new guidelines.
Of course, there are some brands that are recognised as having a more tangible impact than others, insofar as they lead the pack and inspire changes among other organisations – and that’s where Chanel comes in.
Over the past few years, Chanel has made waves in the fashion and the luxury industries, by making changes to the way that they manufacture goods and source materials, as well as changing the way that they approach sustainability in marketing and outreach. Sparking a move to ban the use of genuine fur and exotic leathers as just one of their sustainability drives, Chanel is one of the most interesting brands to look at from an eco-conscious point of view.
Which is where this blog comes in – diving into some of the initiatives that put Chanel at the front of the motion to make the fashion and luxury goods industry more sustainable.
Sustainable Fashion from Day One
There are those critics who cite the views of Coco Chanel herself as unethical from a social standpoint – however, one cannot argue that many of her creations and innovations have become the epitome of sustainable design within the world of fashion.
One of the driving forces behind the success of the Chanel brand and its handbags is the revolutionary approach to trends, and the idea that, while fashion and trends will change consistently and regularly over time, style remains eternal. This ideology can be seen in the creation of bags, clothes, and accessories, which are designed to withstand the test of time, and which have required very little in the way of styling intervention, even after decades on the market.
The Chanel 2.55 bag, for example, was first launched way back in 1955. Despite some changes from Chief Creative Officer Karl Lagerfeld later down the line, the shape, strap, and overall concept of the bag have never been changed – heralding the work of Coco Chanel and her timeless approach to design.
In short, it’s safe to say that the sustainability of designs – and the longevity of each and every Chanel piece – presents its own nod to eco-conscious styling, insofar as, once a bag has been made and released, it remains on the market for generations. However, the state of the world as it is today means that even the most durable and timeless brands need to make changes behind the scenes, in order to keep up with and continue to protect the natural world around us.
Here’s how Chanel is committing to sustainability and to a better, more eco-conscious future.
How Has Chanel Nurtured a More Sustainable Brand Today?
There are a number of changes that Chanel has already made as part of its commitment to a greener future, not least the transparent way that the brand has approached and communicated its plans for a sustainable change.
One of the big focus points of Chanel’s drive to become more sustainable is the Chanel mission plan, which is known as Chanel Mission 1.5°. Not only is this inspiring change on the ground in terms of processes and operations, but it is also impacting the digital footprint of the brand – making web pages load faster so they create lower emissions, making online content more accessible, and using online touchpoints to create and communicate cohesive messages.
Another thing that Chanel has done which indicates tangible change is invest in and bring aspects of the manufacturing process inhouse. It has purchased two core Italian leather goods manufacturers so as to hold control over the way that materials are sourced and used, as well as taking the steps to localise production to reduce the need for shipping.
And then, of course, we come back to the ban on the use of fur and exotic skins, which has an incredibly prominent impact on the eco-conscious mindset and approach of the brand, and also sparked a motion that has been replicated across the luxury industry through the rollout of the same commitment across other brands.
Eco-Conscious Future: Chanel’s Future as a Sustainable Brand
Like so many other consumer brands, Chanel has plans to become a net-zero carbon emissions company by 2050, and also hopes to eliminate the use of single-use plastic across the entire business by 2030.
Much of Chanel’s current and future sustainability motion is being driven by the Chanel Mission 1.5°, which is all about the brand taking control of its own processes and goals, introducing Chanel as a brand that is not only keeping up with the world but taking a stand and striving to lead the pack.
All four of Chanel’s existing goals are underpinned within this mission report, which was named the Mission 1.5° in accordance with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, committed to reducing the mean global temperature increase to 1.5°C. The changes mean that the brand has to shift and change its whole attitude to the product and customer journey, bringing more resources inhouse and investing in different areas of the production cycle, which enables the business to have more control over its processes. For example, we already touched on how Chanel has already purchased two Italian leather goods companies to retain control over its material manufacturing, and has other plans to off-set the business’s damage – much of which comes from the supply chain.
In essence, it seems as though Chanel is taking steps to minimise its carbon output, and offset the damage it causes, by taking back control over every step of the process, from design to store shelf.
For prospective Chanel buyers or investors, the final point to mention is the incredible quality of a Chanel handbag, which makes second-hand pieces not only more valuable but also a more sustainable alternative.
If you’re seeking your perfect Chanel bag, take the time to identify a reputable reseller, who can show you the best quality and most valuable models in stock, together with authentication information and the assurance that your investment will last the test of time.