Innovation for circular fashion Today, in China Resources Tower, Shenzhen, Kering held the Greater Bay Area (GBA) Roadshow as part of the third edition of the Kering Generation Award. Launched by Kering and co-organized by the global innovation platform Plug and Play China, the event brought together representatives from startups and various industry players in the GBA to discuss the topic of circular economy. It aims to explore innovation throughout the entire value chain and foster collaboration to create a new ecosystem for sustainability.
Today, in China Resources Tower, Shenzhen, Kering held the Greater Bay Area (GBA) Roadshow as part of the third edition of the Kering Generation Award. Launched by Kering and co-organized by the global innovation platform Plug and Play China, the event brought together representatives from startups and various industry players in the GBA to discuss the topic of circular economy. It aims to explore innovation throughout the entire value chain and foster collaboration to create a new ecosystem for sustainability.
Designed as a local initiative under Kering’s 2025 Sustainability Strategy, the Kering Generation Award was founded in China and has been successfully held for two editions. It aims to promote the Fashion industry transformation by recognizing and supporting Chinese startups that can bring about positive environmental and social impact and address challenges in alternative raw materials, green supply chain, retail & use and the circular economy.
The third Kering Generation Award was announced in December 2022 around the theme ‘Coming Full Circle’, echoing the Group's “Coming Full Circle” report published in May 2021, which formalized Kering’s achievements and ambition in circular economy. This GBA Roadshow marks an important step of the program.
Kering believes creativity and innovation are key to maintaining its unique competitive edge. Innovation is not only the core spirit of the Award, but also the driving force behind the industry’s transformation in sustainability. Choosing Shenzhen as the host city for this roadshow is a strong signal, in line with the city’s position as global influential hub for innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity.
During this event, industry insiders from the government, institutions, investors, industry associations, leading companies, sustainability platforms, and professional academic institutions gathered with representatives from startups in the GBA to explore the theme of "Innovation for Circular Fashion".
In addition to keynote speeches, the 2023 Kering Sustainable Fashion Innovation Forum was also held during the roadshow, with roundtable discussions focusing on "New Circular Materials, New Circular Designs" and "New Circular Ecosystem". Speakers included: Song Youyang, founder of Peelsphere, the winner of the 2nd Kering Generation Award; Yi Xiao, Researcher and Ph.D. Supervisor at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Shen Mingzhe, Creative Director of ELLASSAY; Josephine Zhang, Shenzhen Project Director at Première Vision; Marianne McLean-Atkins, Director of Education at Redress; Xu Hao, Vice President of Sustainable Social Value at Tencent and Head of Tencent SSV Carbon Neutrality Laboratory; Li Jinhao, Deputy General Manager of Shenzhen High-Tech Investment Venture Capital Company and Flora Yao, General Manager of Brand & Communications Center at China Resources Mixc Lifestyle Services. The two roundtables were respectively moderated by Shaway Yeh, founder of Yehyehyeh Innovation, and Xu Jieping, CEO, Managing Partner & Executive Director of Plug and Play China.
Young entrepreneurs from the GBA shared their visions and comprehensive strengths, reflecting the great potential of China's emerging entrepreneurial force in sustainability. The startups participated in the event included Spider Technology (Shenzhen); BloomGEM (Shenzhen); REDO(Guangzhou); Revobit (Guangzhou); DejaWOOO (Hong Kong); CHAZENCE (Macau).
“Kering and sustainability share a long history, and we believe our role, as a Luxury group, is to actively contribute to accelerating change. By choosing circular economy as the key focal point of the third Kering Generation Award, we want to help a new generation of startups explore and implement innovations that can drive the full-chain industry transformation. The GBA Roadshow marks an important step during this exploratory journey,” commented Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer, Kering.
Cai Jinqing, President of Kering Greater China, said, “Shenzhen's innovative DNA is fully in line with Kering's sustainable innovation strategy . We are honored to be in this vibrant city to explore the new ecosystem of circular fashion and discuss new forms of collaboration with our partners in the GBA through the Sustainable Fashion Innovation Forum and startup roadshow. We hope that together, we can usher in the fashion industry’s transformation.”
The event was strongly supported by Commerce Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Nanshan District Industry and Information Technology Bureau of Shenzhen as well as Shenzhen Garment Industry Association.
About Kering Generation Award
Since 2017, as part of the Group’s Sustainability Strategy, Kering has partnered with the global innovation platform Plug and Play China to launch the “Plug and Play – Fashion for Good” accelerator in Europe, scouting innovative solutions across the entire fashion industry chain, as well as thinking about changes from perspectives such as “alternative raw materials to recycling technology” and thereby extending product lifespan.
Aligned with Kering’s strategy of “Crafting tomorrow’s luxury”, the Kering Generation Award was founded in China in December 2018, aiming to recognize and support Chinese startups that can bring about positive environmental and social impact and address challenges in alternative raw materials, green supply chain, retail & use and the circular economy.
Launched in 2021, the second Kering Generation Award focused on biodiversity and beyond, seeking startups working in the areas of ensuring clean water, building healthy soil, supporting wildlife and animal welfare as well as empowering people with knowledge of links between fashion and nature.
In December 2022, Kering announced the third Kering Generation Award around the theme “Coming Full Circle”, promoting the complete development of the circular economy at every link of the fashion industry. The awarding ceremony will be held in October 2023, during Shanghai Fashion Week.
About "Coming Full Circle" (Click here to read the report)
In May 2021, Kering published "Coming Full Circle", a report outlining the group's ambition for a holistic approach to circularity. The document also highlights the concrete actions that Kering Houses have implemented around circularity so far, in alignment with their climate and biodiversity strategies. In line with Kering’s efforts for more transparency, this new report is part of the Group’s Sustainability Strategy aiming at rethinking the way it produces, uses and extends the life of resources and products.
About Progress Report and New Target (Click here to read the report)
Sustainability was placed at the core of Kering’s strategy over almost 15 years ago, committing to a longer-term, all-round, and authentic sustainability from environment and ecology perspectives. Kering’s Sustainability Strategy incorporates the Group’s Houses and is underpinned by a series of milestone targets across three key pillars: Care, Collaborate and Create.
Six years into the Group’s “Crafting Tomorrow’s Luxury” strategy, Kering published its "2020-2023 Sustainability Progress Report" in March 2023, showcasing key achievements including reduction of its total environmental impacts by 40% in 2021, 4 years ahead of agenda. The Group announced in the meantime a new commitment to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2035, on a 2021 baseline. This new target covering scopes 1, 2 and 3 of the greenhouse gas protocol. By 2050, Group will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods and Jewelry: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, Ginori 1735 as well as Kering Eyewear and Kering Beauté. By placing creativity at the heart of its strategy, Kering enables its Houses to set new limits in terms of their creative expression while crafting tomorrow’s Luxury in a sustainable and responsible way. We capture these beliefs in our signature: “Empowering Imagination”. In 2022, Kering had over 47,000 employees and revenue of €20.4 billion.
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play started its business at 165 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA in 1998. Since then, the company successfully invested and incubated many internet giants including PayPal, Google, Dropbox, etc.
Plug and Play was formally established in Silicon Valley in 2006 and now has over 50 regional offices worldwide. It has invested in over 1,600 startups globally.
Founded in 2016, Plug and Play China currently has 3 regional innovation centers in Beijing (China HQ), Shanghai and Shenzhen. There are 4 main business functions across Plug and Play China’s innovation platform including corporate innovation, city innovation, tech investment, and innovation space. Till now, the company has engaged with 100+ industry-leading corporations, accelerated over 1700 startups, and has invested in over 150 startups including ApplyBoard, AutoX, Flexiv, ZiFiSense, etc.
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