The Neiman Marcus Group, which is developing an environmental, social and governance strategy, has formed partnerships with the Textile Exchange and Give Back Box to advance ESG initiatives.
The Dallas-based luxury retailer is also broadening its partnership with Fashionphile.
In April 2019, Neiman’s became the first luxury retailer to make a long-term investment in resale by acquiring a minority stake in Fashionphile, a reseller of preowned luxury handbags and accessories. There are six Fashionphile “selling studios” where consumers can drop off used merchandise and get paid for it inside Neiman’s stores in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Beverly Hills and Fashion Island, Calif.; NorthPark, Dallas and Scottsdale, Ariz. According to Neiman’s, more than 39,000 items have been dropped off at the stores, extending their life cycle.
Nine more Neiman Marcus stores will have the Fashionphile service within the next nine months, including this fall at the Boca Raton, Fla.; King of Prussia, Pa.; Atlanta, and Austin, Texas stores. In the spring, Fashionphile studios will be in the San Antonio; Las Vegas; Topanga, Calif.; Troy, Mich., and Northbrook, Ill. stores.
At the select Neiman’s stores, Fashionphile customers can drop off and receive a quote and payment for their items. Customers can also shop the Fashionphile website, and Neiman’s expects customers who drop off the goods to also shop the store. Fashionphile personnel authenticate products and determine the value.
Additionally, Neiman Marcus has begun issuing gift cards as an optional payment method to all customers who sell their luxury products to Fashionphile. Customers who opt to be paid in Neiman Marcus gift cards also get an extra 10 percent bonus on the gift card value.
“Now more than ever, environmental sustainability is top of mind for fashion and retail industries. NMG is taking action and driving change while we continue to revolutionize the ultimate luxury experience,” said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Neiman’s chief executive officer. Neiman’s is expected to unveil its 2025 ESG strategy early in 2022.
“As our team works to finalize the anticipated 2025 ESG strategy, the company is looking forward to helping build a better future for our industry with help from amazing partners such as Give Back Box, Textile Exchange and Fashionphile,” said van Raemdonck.
Neiman’s recently became a member of the Textile Exchange, a nonprofit organization that develops and promotes industry standards for preferred fibers. The organization encourages the adoption of sustainable materials to reduce CO2 emissions from textile fiber and material production by 45 percent by 2030.
The Textile Exchange will assist Neiman’s by providing insights and education to NMG’s merchants and brand partners as Neiman’s seeks to increase revenue from sustainable and ethical products over time.
Neiman’s said it was the first North American luxury retailer to join Textile Exchange alongside brands from groups like LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Kering. A representative from Neiman’s will speak at Textile Exchange’s annual conference Nov. 18, alongside panelists from VF Corp. and Elevate Global.
“NMG is synonymous with luxury merchandise and has the power to change their directly controlled products and influence on a much larger scale,” Claire Bergkamp, chief operating officer of Textile Exchange, said in a statement. “It takes leaders such as NMG being committed to scaling preferred fibers and materials to evoke the industry-wide change we need.”
Neiman’s is also teaming up with Give Back Box to expand its offering of sustainable services and support the circular economy. Give Back Box enables consumers to extend the life of products by donating them to someone in need thereby reducing fashion’s environmental footprint.
To participate, customers can reuse the box their Neiman Marcus order arrived in, fill it with any “gently” used clothing, accessories and shoes to donate, and ship it for free to Give Back Box. A prepaid shipping label can be printed out at givebackbox.com and a pickup can be scheduled, or the box can be dropped off at any UPS, USPS or FedEx location. Give Back Box will direct customers’ donations to local charities and provide NMG with real-time impact reporting on pounds of cardboard and clothes recycled. Neiman’s will announce the partnership via a customer letter in more than 50,000 Neiman Marcus online shipments ordered during the company’s “Give Big” holiday campaign.
“We do believe the impact created together will go far beyond just the life cycle of clothing, and we are looking forward to creating impact and inspiring people to help others and do good this holiday season,” said Monika Wiela, CEO and founder of Give Back Box, which has partnered with Nordstrom and Rent the Runway. Give Back Box indicated that since 2012, it has shipped and recycled more than one million boxes and diverted more than 19 million pieces, or 13 million pounds, of clothing from landfills and given them a second life.
On Earth Day in April, Neiman’s announced it formed a team to develop an ESG strategy. The team has quarterly oversight from NMG’s board, and takes a cross-functional approach to “engaging leaders and task forces across the company ensuring that ESG is infused into all parts of NMG’s business.” The team collaborates with independent, third-party consultants to identify ESG issues and priorities and set time-bound goals.