MILAN — The Yoox Net-a-porter Group continues to take steps toward circularity.
The group on Thursday pledged to commit to HRH the Prince of Wales’ Terra Carta and join the Sustainable Markets Initiative — the first luxury fashion e-tailer to do so.
Terra Carta is a call-to-action charter for businesses that “puts nature, people and planet at the heart of global value creation,” according to its website.
Speaking at the One Planet Summit in France on Jan. 11, the Prince of Wales unveiled the Terra Carta, which derives its name from the historic Magna Carta that inspired a belief in the fundamental rights and liberties of people over 800 years ago. The Terra Carta provides “a roadmap to 2030 for businesses to move towards an ambitious and sustainable future, one that will harness the power of Nature combined with the transformative power, innovation and resources of the private sector.”
The Prince of Wales made an urgent appeal to private sector leaders around the world to join this endeavor and to give their support to the Terra Carta.
One of Terra Carta’s actions was initiated at the summit in Paris, with the creation of a Natural Capital Investors Alliance targeting $10 billion by 2022.
While “delighted” about YNAP’s commitment, the prince underscored how “the fashion industry has a vital role to play in our transition towards a sustainable future. I can only encourage more to join our coalition of the willing.”
“Today, we’re thrilled to sign the Terra Carta, an ambitious charter that importantly includes a focus on investment in technology and STEM to catalyze our transition to a sustainable and circular era,” said YNAP founder and chairman Federico Marchetti. “Harnessing innovation to drive a more sustainable and values-led approach for the fashion industry is a journey I began in early 2000, culminating last year with the launch of The Modern Artisan, a long-term project I’ve been proud to have developed together with His Royal Highness. HRH’s commitment to championing sustainability has always been ahead of its time, but now time is running out, and I urge more of the fashion industry to join us.”
For years Marchetti has been vocal about and instrumental in developing sustainable and welfare initiatives for the group.
As a supporter of the Terra Carta, YNAP will champion the action articles and targets outlined in the charter’s 10 principles through the commitments published in “Infinity.”
YNAP unveiled its new sustainable strategy in November, which sets a framework of 12 targets and benchmarks to achieve by 2030, each reflecting one of the United Nations’ 12 Sustainable Development Goals.
“Infinity” leverages the company’s data and technological backbone to initiate a more comprehensive sustainable journey spanning four areas of interest: Circular Business, Circular Culture, Planet Positive and People Positive.
The group is committed to unlocking re-commerce initiatives by 2025, with pilot projects to bow this year. It will also start rolling out a series of collaborations this year with local tailors, craftsmen and start-ups in Milan, London and New York to offer care and repair solutions to increase each garment’s lifetime. As part of the strategy, YNAP is committed to working together with its partner brands so that they align with the framework it set for circular design by 2021.
In its efforts to become a circular business, YNAP is using its expertise in eco-friendly initiatives, data, technology and innovation, as well as its scale and reach across 180 countries, 4.5 million customers and hundreds of brand partners.
Initiatives already underway to advance “Infinity” include launching a digital ID technology pilot program for the group’s private labels in partnership with Eon. The technology enables customers to scan QR codes for information on provenance, design, content and future services (such as care and repair, re-commerce and recycling) that can unlock opportunities for circularity. This is a step in the group’s commitment to introduce online solutions that help customers make more informed choices by 2022.
Other initiatives include applying circular principles to the group’s private label collections to ensure they are fully designed for sustainability and circularity by 2025; advancing carbon reduction programs aiming to reach 100 percent renewable energy across all owned operations, as one part of the journey to becoming climate positive by 2030.
The retailer’s commitment to the Terra Carta is an evolution of the existing partnership with The Prince’s Foundation, of which Prince Charles is president.
As reported, The Prince’s Foundation and YNAP collaborated on The Modern Artisan, a project whose goal is to strengthen textile skills and train artisans in the U.K. and Italy to produce luxury apparel collections hinging on sustainability. The training program resulted in a capsule developed by blending and celebrating traditional Italian and British craftsmanship with digital tools such as data insights. The resulting capsule collection bowed in November last year on Yoox, Net-a porter, Mr Porter and The Outnet online stores at the same time — a first for the e-tailer.
As per the succession plan set in motion last year, Marchetti exited his role of CEO of YNAP in January, staying on as chairman to ensure a smooth transition. Geoffroy Lefebvre, previously group digital distribution director at YNAP parent Compagnie Financière Richemont, succeeded Marchetti as chief executive officer.