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    Tuesday, December 20, 2022


    Kering, together with global innovation platform Plug and Play China, announced the third edition of the Kering Generation Award in Greater China under the theme "Coming Full Circle". The awards aim to inspire discussion and promote development of the full-link circular economy in the fashion industry.

    3rd Kering Generation Award 320x235.jpg

    Kering, together with global innovation platform Plug and Play China, announced the third edition of the Kering Generation Award in Greater China under the theme "Coming Full Circle". The awards aim to inspire discussion and promote development of the full-link circular economy in the fashion industry.



    As one of the key issues in sustainable fashion, circularity is a critical pillar in Kering’s 2025 Sustainability Strategy. In May 2021, Kering published “Coming Full Circle”, a report outlining the group's ambition for a holistic approach to circularity, calling the entire industry to rethink the way it produces, uses and extends the life of resources and products.  



    The third Kering Generation Award focuses on three dimensions: circular raw materials, circular product designs and circular business models. It evaluates how these are accomplished through the five links of re-design, reuse, recycle, regenerate and recognition. It also discusses about tactics and solutions from the industry end to the consumer end, exploring holistic practices in the fashion industry’s circular economy that cover the entire chain.



     “Kering has for more than a decade been at the forefront of leading innovation and investment into accounting for the environmental impact of its brands. As such, we take our approach to circularity very seriously, along with our responsibility to accelerate change. Following the ‘Coming Full Circle’ report released last year, we are taking the circular economy as a key focal point to help a fresh generation of startups explore new opportunities and contribute to the industry transformation at every link. Our Kering Generation Award is one of the initiatives/mechanisms that can help us boosting sustainable innovation and reach our targets.” commented Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer, Kering.



    The jury is composed of industry leaders in fashion, luxury, business, academia, sustainability and innovation. Members include (in alphabetical order by last name): Christophe Artaux, CEO of Qeelin; Cai Jinqing, President of Kering Greater China; Angelica Cheung, Partner of Sequoia Capital China; Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability and Institutional Affairs Officer of Kering; Du Huanzheng, Director of the Institute of Ecological Civilization and Circular Economy, Tongji University; Hong Huang, renowned media personality; Federica Marchionni, CEO of Global Fashion Agenda; Susan Rockefeller, renowned artist, philanthropist and sustainability leader; Gianfilippo Testa, Global CEO of Alexander McQueen; Wang Shi, Founder of Vanke; and Wang Zhen, President of Erdos Holdings Group.



    With a scouting process kicked off in December 2022, selection will be based on a variety of criteria such as relevance to circularity, relevance to fashion, innovation going beyond state of the art, potential for commercial success, potential impact on nature & people, and TRL assessment. Click here to apply.




    Winners will be announced in October 2023, with the following interests:

    • The winning company will receive a prize of EUR 100,000;
    • The top three winners will join Kering and Plug and Play's industry network and have opportunities to get in touch with industry leaders and investors;
    • The top three winners will be invited to visit Kering’s headquaters in Paris and benefit from the guidance of the Group’s sustainability experts.



    The third Kering Generation Award will continue its collaboration with CEIBS to host entrepreneurship accelerator camps for 10 finalists to provide them with professional training and enhance their entrepreneurial capabilities. By participating in the Pitch Day organized by Plug and Play China, the 10 finalists will also have the opportunity to showcase their vision and development to the jury.



    In addition, Kering will strengthen its partnership with Shanghai Fashion Week, not only to enable broader interaction with the sustainable fashion industry in China, but also to provide a platform for award-winning companies to showcase their achievements. Through the Shanghai Fashion Week sustainability development platform "ULIO SPACE", Kering will create opportunities for them to connect with resources across the industry chain.



    Cai Jinqing, President of Kering Greater China, said, "China's sustainable industry infrastructure is promising, and the country is capable of practicing large-scale innovation as it advances. To build a circular economy, it is necessary to develop both the industry side and the consumer side, promoting a green transformation of the whole industry chain. At the launch of the third Kering Generation Award, Kering is looking forward to working with its Chinese partners to promote changes in the industry. By expanding our vision and sharing resources across the industry chain, we encourage young entrepreneurs to explore innovative solutions and disruptive business models to jointly drive the future of sustainable fashion in China."




    Practices and achievements of Kering’s houses within the framework of the Group’s Circularity strategy




    • Through Gucci-Up, the House reuses and/or recycles scraps, helping make leftover materials obsolete.
    • Since 2020, Gucci has eliminated virgin single-use plastic in its retail and e-commerce packaging. The new product packaging is fully recyclable.
    • Gucci is funding and incentivizing farmers to switch to regenerative agriculture through

    “carbon farming”. It is set to source regenerative raw materials for its products.

    • In 2021, Gucci developed a groundbreaking new material, Demetra, derived primarily from sustainable, renewable, and bio-based raw materials.



    Saint Laurent


    • Saint Laurent has improved cutting efficiency and surplus leather from a handbag line can be also reused to produce small leather goods items.
    • Saint Laurent has also equipped new stores with flooring in the back of house that is made from leather offcuts from previous collections, to give a second life to its leather cutting leftovers.



    Bottega Veneta


    • Bottega Veneta’s design team attended a training session with Circular.Fashion.
    • It has introduced biodegradable polymer and recycled plastics in its shoe collections in addition to recycled nylon in its ready-to-wear and leather goods collections.
    • Bottega Veneta researched its stores worldwide to study how recyclable and non-recyclable waste in the stores could be better managed with a circular approach.
    • In June 2022, during Global Fashion Agenda’s Global Fashion Summit: Copenhagen Edition 2022, Bottega Veneta launched Bottega Series, a collection inspired by one classic model each month and sold at original price. The purpose of Bottega Series is to go beyond seasonal limits and create unique pieces which sustain in long term.
    • Bottega Veneta’s ‘Certificate of Craft’ program offers its customers a free wear repair service for its emblematic bags such as the Kalimero bucket model, the Cabat or the Knot minaudiere. The initiative “is a small revolution in a sector more used to the it-bag race.” It is the artisanal manufacturing methods, including Intreccio, make this service possible. In addition, behind this initiative “there is also a whole reflection on the definition of luxury at a time of climate emergency.”





    • Balenciaga launched during its Winter 22 360° show a Maxi Hooded Wrap Coat made with EPHEA™, an innovative material derived from the vegetative body of a mushroom.
    • Balenciaga has decided to merge the men’s and women’s collections and design two seasons’ collections (summer and fall) simultaneously for much greater efficiency in terms of materials used across the collections, minimizing the environment impact of production.



    Alexander McQueen


    • Alexander McQueen has partnered with Vestiaire Collective to launch a “brand authenticated” service, providing an innovative re-commerce solution.





    • In 2022, Boucheron launched its Jack de Boucheron Ultime collection. This capsule collection features a combination of the Jack de Boucheron design and Cofalit, a material made by recycling an industrial byproduct, being then vitrified and rendered inert.
    • For the first time in its history, Boucheron published a social and environmental impact report in 2022, “Precious For The Future.” To demonstrate the Maison’s transparency and responsibility, the report attests to several years of action, and asserts a clear mission: “To build a desirable future together.” The fundamental efforts of the Boucheron teams are divided into three main categories: sourcing raw materials, operations, and commitments to inclusion and diversity.





    • Pomellato has applied the ancient art of kintsugi, a traditional Japanese mending technique, to upcycle damaged gemstones, which would otherwise be discarded, employing a Japanese artist to mend the stones using gold.





    • A Brioni suit is designed to evolve with the wearer, as the seam allowance can accommodate for a lifetime of alterations to adapt to changes in body shape.Brioni provides the repairs and after-care service.




    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 vision 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 start-ups 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.



    About "Coming Full Circle"


    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 sustainability strategy aiming at rethinking the way it produces, uses and extends the life of resources and products.  



    About Kering


    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, as well as Kering Eyewear. 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 2021, Kering had over 42,000 employees and revenue of €17.6 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.



    About CEIBS


    China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) was co-founded by the Chinese government and European Union (EU) in 1994 and has campuses in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Accra (Ghana), and Zurich (Switzerland).


    CEIBS is committed to educating responsible leaders versed in “China Depth, Global Breadth” and serves as an important platform for exchange and co-operation between China, Europe and the world.


    The school offers MBA, Finance MBA, EMBA, Global EMBA, Hospitality EMBA, DBA (Switzerland) and Executive Education programmes. It has placed in the top tier of the Financial Times’ ranking of global MBA programmes for six consecutive years and has been ranked in the top 5 on its global EMBA list for five consecutive years.


    CEIBS has more than 26,000 alumni from over 90 countries and regions around the world, and has provided management training for more than 200,000 executives worldwide.



    About Shanghai Fashion Week


    As a reputed City Name Card, Shanghai Fashion Week, relying on the urban heritage and cultural confidence of Shanghai, a century-old fashion capital, adheres to the positioning philosophy of “integration of local and international visions” and “balance between creative design and commercial implementation”. In the past 20 years, it has evolved from a merely fashion showcase platform to a fashion eco landscape, which runs through the entire fashion industry, and is commented as "the world's most dynamic fashion week".



    Poster credit: © Nina-Lou Giachetti