A 'Go for Good' space in Galeries Lafayette

PARIS — Galeries Lafayette is extending its “Go for Good” campaign to its BHV Marais department store and its La Redoute online apparel and home goods business.

The program aims to “push back frontiers in the fashion industry so we can offer our clients an ever-growing selection of products and services that are both stylish and meaningful,” as well as push corporate social responsibility to the heart of the company’s activities, said Nicolas Houzé, chief executive officer of Galeries Lafayette and BHV Marais.

La Redoute will flag its most environmentally friendly products starting this week while BHV Marais will join the program next spring. Each of the two labels will offer more sustainable products in fashion, beauty, home goods and food.

Galeries Lafayette, which unveiled its “Go for Good” program last September with Stella McCartney, has sprinkled its stores with “Good Spot” spaces, highlighting the sustainable bent of a range of products from hundreds of brands.

Next year, the department store chain’s Boulevard Haussmann flagship in Paris will add “Good Baby” and “Green Beauty” spaces.

Galeries Lafayette, which is adapting to the rise of online commerce by positioning itself as a fashion-forward destination where consumers can discover up-and-coming labels, aimed to make sustainability a key, longer-term focus following the “Go for Good” launch last year.

Serving as a link between brands and consumers, and a staging ground for brands large and small to show off their environmental credentials, the group is able to accelerate the movement toward more sustainable fashion, said Damien Pellé, head of sustainability for Galeries Lafayette and BHV Marais. The former PricewaterhouseCoopers consultant was recruited by the department store company four years ago to seek out sustainable sources for the group’s various labels, such as organic cotton or recycled materials.

“The sector started to focus on sustainability issues quite late,” compared to other industries, but is moving quickly, in Pellé’s view.

“It took a lot of time, but now it’s going very quickly…perhaps even overtaking others,” he added. The fundamental problem continues to be a lack of ability to recycle clothing well, as well as social challenges.

“Social challenges are far from being behind us,” he said, citing working conditions as production lines have shifted in recent years from China to Bangladesh, Cambodia and Ethiopia.

Galeries Lafayette earlier this year struck up a partnership with the crowdfunding platform Ulule to encourage sustainable projects from young designers and to add merchandise to the “Go for Good” spaces in the store, showcasing finalists on a Galeries Lafayette web site linked to the program.