Conscious luxury brings on new collaborators. At the U.N. Climate Summit, Swarovski announced it will partner with sustainability nonprofit Study Hall and the United Nations office for Partnerships to launch the “One X One” fellowship initiative and accelerator. The program will pair emerging talent with companies developing innovations that incorporate sustainable practices.
The fashion industry’s focus on collaboration will only heighten as sustainability becomes a core focus for not just existing entities but emerging designers alike. To name a few, the LVMH accelerator, New York Fashion Tech Lab, XRC Labs and so on — all assemble an expert member board and culminate with a final presentation and grants awarded to participants.
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With One X One, the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals will play a guiding role in the project curriculum. The One X One initiative’s official launch is to be determined but will be by the end of 2019, with group work commencing the following summer and a major program to cap the inaugural year in September 2020.
Swarovski is vocal on how it is tackling issues such as gender diversity and sustainable design and has partnered with global initiatives such as the U.N. Global Compact since 2013.
As great-great-granddaughter of company founder Daniel Swarovski and the first female member of the Swarovski executive board, Nadja Swarovski is polishing the corporate commitment in the new initiative.
“The program echoes the wider commitments we make to people and the planet through the work of our Swarovski Foundation and Swarovski Waterschool, and it aligns with our strategic commitments within our business, where sustainable innovation and Conscious Design are key focuses,” said Swarovski to WWD.
One X One will focus on sustainable innovations in materials, manufacturing and consumption while bringing in a broader cross-section of expertise including: “leaders in fashion, science, tech, academia, and high-profile activists.”
After grants are awarded, the focus will be on scaling the initiatives for larger industry applications to “drive dynamic impact and lasting change,” as Swarovski sees it.
“We need to work together to address today’s most pressing social and environmental challenges,” reiterated Swarovski.
Too, Celine Semaan Vernon, founder of Study Hall and sustainability design agency Slow Factory, is focused on lasting change. While her foundation began as an educational initiative, it has quickly become “more than a conference series,” she informed.
Study Hall’s foundational principles will complement the project curriculum of One X One. Vernon found the basic mission — “good for the earth, good for people” — was a common thread among the many certifications, research groups, principles and standards the company consumed. The company aims to reveal a waste study and circular design initiative that will be announced during its next Study Hall in 2020.
As for Lucie Brigham, chief of office, office of partnerships at United Nations, the hope for the One X One initiative is to “serve as a platform that can be amplified at scale and replicated so other brands and scientists will start thinking in more collaborative ways.”
Brigham cites other examples, including the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action as one that has “mobilized the fashion industry.” The U.N.’s office of partnerships ultimately aims to foster the global advancement of the U.N.’s 17 SDGs by leveraging the private sector.
As the industry welcomes circular initiatives, workshopping and grant-led accelerators such as One X One will continue to become the vogue.
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