The statement from Thomas Berry, director of sustainable business at Farfetch, set the scene: “The fashion industry faces significant challenges. Climate change, the acceleration of e-commerce, human rights and environmental standards within supply chains, and the need to increase the use of existing clothing while reducing waste are all key issues for us and the wider industry.”
Farfetch’s Positively Farfetch agenda hopes “to revolutionize the fashion industry for the future,” according to Berry.
With some 1,300 luxury sellers, 3 million active consumers and a reported $3.2 billion in gross merchandise value, Farfetch is a force in online luxury and its steps toward measuring its footprint matter for the broader industry. Measuring impact across its value chain, Farfetch is working with holistic sustainability rating firm EcoVadis to complete its sustainability assessments including scope 1, 2 (direct) and 3 (indirect) emissions.
The company reported progress on key areas for 2020, with stats on greenhouse gas emissions, waste and energy use. Of note, Farfetch reported a 12 percent reduction of carbon impact through shipments and 26 percent renewable energy conversion, as well as strides toward circularity. In its goal to be climate positive, the company aligned with science-based targets for its aims, but has not formally committed to targets with organizations like the Science Based Targets Initiative, per a directory search.
Appeasing consumer demand for pre-owned luxury among other asks, Farfetch said it will increase its conscious offering to 100 percent by 2030. Conscious product is broadly defined at Farfetch enveloping certified products, pre-owned as well as a high rating on consumer ratings platform Good on You.
The company’s conscious offering stands at 5 percent of its total GMV (last reported to be $1 billion for the three months ended June 30). About 1 percent of the product offering is considered circular while 0.7 percent of goods on the Farfetch marketplace are considered recycled, upcycled or pre-owned. Still, programs like Farfetch Donate and Second Life (launched two years ago) are fast-growing. Farfetch Second Life is available in 30 countries across Europe and the U.S., and the number of items sold through the service increased by 332 percent compared to 2019.
Part of a growing trend among public companies, Farfetch is eyeing its leadership. The company formed an ESG committee last year and aims to increase representation as part of the Board Challenge, an initiative to improve the representation of Black directors in U.S. boardrooms.