Regenerative Fund for Nature
From cotton to wool, or leather to cashmere, most clothing begins its life as a raw material on a farm or rangeland. For this reason, the future of the fashion industry is inextricably linked with the future of agriculture. Though agriculture is currently one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change, it can be transformed from a ‘problem’ to a powerful nature-based solution. Regenerative agricultural practices have been proven to deliver the outcomes we need for climate, nature and livelihoods. However, much more support is needed to catalyze this transition. This includes helping farmers transition, building awareness of the need for improved farm-level practices, and ensuring the right market mechanisms are in place to scale regenerative agricultural production.
Motivated to take transformative action, Kering and Conservation International launched the Regenerative Fund for Nature in order to transition 1,000,000 hectares of current crop and rangelands into regenerative farming practices over the next five years. The Fund will provide grants to projects that support producers at the frontlines of agricultural change. Through a suite of successful projects, the Fund aims to catalyze new approaches to raw material production and sourcing by the fashion sector. Ultimately, the Fund will deliver measurable outcomes in terms of biodiversity, climate while supporting improved animal welfare and rural livelihoods.
Farmers and growers need support to transition from current agricultural practices that have a high impact on climate and nature, to more regenerative practices that restore nature and mitigate climate change. The Fund will catalyze the transition to regenerative practices by providing grants to farming groups, project developers, NGOs and other stakeholders who are ready to test, prove and scale agricultural practices that work in harmony with natural systems. The Fund will accept the first round of applications in early 2021, with the aim of having grants allocated by mid-2021.
Cutting edge science-based tools and methodologies will be used to set Fund priorities and track progress of projects, as well as drive the Fund’s entire portfolio to deliver measurable and tangible results.
Fundamentally, the Fund aims to both show direct outcomes for nature, climate and livelihoods through transformed agricultural practices, as well as illustrate how the fashion sector can engage and support supply chain and sourcing actions that deliver positive outcomes. Scaling the quantity and quality of natural, regenerative raw materials for the fashion sector is one of the key goals of the Fund.
To be considered for the first cohort of grantees, please submit your application on/before Friday, April 30, 2021. For more information about eligibility, the application process, the funding cycle, and much more, please see our FAQ.
We are delighted to accept applications for projects that are/will be implemented in one or more of our priority countries. These countries were selected through a science-based analyses conducted by Conservation International that considered the importance of the material for fashion supply chains, the feasibility of implementing projects and the potential positive outcomes for biodiversity (species and ecosystems), climate and soil.
Here is the list of the selected priority countries:
The Fund will transform 1 million hectares into regenerative agricultural practices by 2025
The Fund will focus on leather, cotton, wool and cashmere
The Fund will focus on 17 focal countries (see map)
€100K - €500K
Expected total grant size for 1-3 years
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
Robert Rodale, son of American organic pioneer J.I. Rodale, used the term ‘regenerative’ to distinguish a kind of farming that goes beyond simply ‘sustainable’ regenerative agriculture:
“…takes advantage of the natural tendencies of ecosystems to regenerate when disturbed. In that primary sense it is distinguished from other types of agriculture that either oppose or ignore the value of those natural tendencies.”
While the way regenerative agriculture is developed and practiced may vary depending on the region, soils, and type of crops/livestock there are some key principles/outcomes that we use to define regenerative:
Increasing carbon in the soil and other improvements of soil health (e.g. capacity to retain water)
Protecting & restoring native habitat & biodiversity
Eliminating the use of unnecessary, synthetic harmful chemical inputs
Supporting farmer livelihoods
Enhancing animal welfare
Regenerative agriculture both encompasses traditional, proven practices as well as innovation in management, measurement and practice. It is an alternative way of raising crops and animals that, by working with natural systems, ensures the long-term viability and resilience of the land to continue to provide for generations to come. The focus on restoration and regeneration of nature is about ‘doing more good’ through agriculture, rather than just ‘less bad’.
The Fund is a partnership between Kering and Conservation International. Conservation International is positioned to catalyze a new era in which regenerative agriculture is a global solution for people, nature and climate. By combining science, field programs, corporate partnerships and government engagement, CI is aligning stakeholders around a common vision for regenerative agriculture and developing multi-stakeholder collaborations that incentivize and deliver on its promise.
Kering has launched a number of initiatives to ensure the protection and sustainability of natural resources. The Group’s overall goal is to preserve such resources, which play a pivotal role in its activities. In 2020, the Group is taking a step further by unveiling its Biodiversity strategy. Our approach is organized into four stages: avoid, reduce, restore & regenerate, and transform.