MILAN — Prada is looking out for the oceans.
The Italian luxury company is partnering with UNESCO on an education program for high school students worldwide to raise awareness of, and promote, more responsible behavior toward the oceans. This project is in line with the Agenda of the United Nations 2030 and 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
“For the Prada Group, the promotion of culture is an integral part of our sustainability strategy,” said Lorenzo Bertelli, head of marketing of the Italian fashion group. “The collaboration with UNESCO is in line, and translates into, a direct communication channel with the students from schools around the world. We are proud to see this project stemming from an initiative that was initially conceived as the innovation of a product, and of a sustainable raw material.”
The program will last four months, and runs from now until May. Teachers from high schools in 10 cities in the world — Berlin, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Lisbon, London, Milan, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Venice — will be led, via webinar, to develop an educational module comprising four lessons dedicated to the theme of sustainability.
The project will explore the ocean, the problem of pollution derived from plastic, and the contribution of the fashion sector to sustainable production to improve the quality of the seas. It will also look to help the classes create an awareness campaign around ocean conservation.
“The global reach of the problems that plague the oceans means that no single country or organization can solve them all,” said Vladimir Ryabinin, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and assistant director general of UNESCO.
“We need to promote partnerships between the world of science, institutions and the private sector to create a blue sustainable economy that will use the ocean, but at the same time will preserve it and take care of it. Together with the Prada Group, we hope to mobilize students from all over the world around these ideas, transforming their energy and their creativity into a vehicle for a society that is more informed on the value of the ocean for our future.”
During the month of May, an international jury composed in partly by Prada and UNESCO will select the winning campaign. The campaign will be presented in the context of the program of activities developed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO during the second conference of the United Nations on the oceans. It will be held in Lisbon from June 2 to 6 and then released on the Prada and UNESCO channels and on pradagroup.com.
Prada last year hosted the “Shaping a Sustainable Future Society” conference in New York, the third edition of the Italian company’s cultural conversations under the “Shaping a Future” moniker. It explored topics such as freedom, equality and justice within the workplace, and the impact of ethical assessments in people’s choices and behavior.
In 2019, the fashion house revealed that the artist and activist Theaster Gates and the award-winning writer, director and producer Ava DuVernay were to cochair the Prada Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council. Prada’s Diversity and Inclusion Council complements the work of the group’s Corporate Social Responsibility department, which has been focused on sustainability, scientific research and culture.
Prada joined the Fashion Pact last year, with the objective to stop global warming, restore biodiversity and protect the oceans, and it vowed to go fur-free starting with the spring 2020 women’s collections.