Regenerative Fund for Nature
From cotton to wool, or leather to cashmere, most clothing begins 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 a major driver of biodiversity loss and climate change, it can be transformed from a ‘problem’ to a powerful nature-based solution. To achieve this transformation, Kering and Conservation International launched the Regenerative Fund for Nature, with the aim of transforming 1,000,000 hectares of crop and rangelands into regenerative agricultural spaces over the next five years.
Regenerative agricultural practices have been proven to deliver the outcomes we need for the climate, nature and livelihoods. However, much more support is needed to drive this transition. This includes helping farmers and producers to make the change by introducing the right market mechanisms to scale up regenerative agricultural production. The Regenerative Fund for Nature was created to meet this need.
Launched in January 2021, the Regenerative Fund for Nature is consistent with Kering’s Biodiversity strategy published last year. It specifically illustrates the Group’s commitment to go one step even further in its efforts to preserve biodiversity, which is inextricably linked to the future of the luxury industry, but above all, that of our planet. On the one hand, the Fund seeks to show how nature, climate change and livelihoods can change for the better, thanks to transforming agricultural practices. On the other, it strives to support new responsible supply chain and sourcing approaches in the fashion industry by upscaling quality and quantity. Lastly, the Fund ultimately aims to provide concrete outcomes in terms of biodiversity and climate change, while at the same time supporting animal welfare and rural livelihoods by deploying the latest scientific tools and methods.
In practice, the Fund will provide grants to farming groups, project leaders, NGOs and other stakeholders who are ready to test, prove and scale regenerative practices, which focus on working in harmony with natural systems.
For more information about eligibility, the application process, the funding cycle, and much more, please see our FAQ.
Selected projects for 2021
All projects need to be implemented in one or more of the priority countries listed by the Fund. These countries were selected after science-based analyses conducted by Conservation International that assessed 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 change and the soil.
Here is the list of countries where projects have been selected:
Regenerative Fund for Nature: key figures
The Fund will transform 1 million hectares into regenerative agricultural spaces by 2025
The Fund will focus on leather, cotton, wool and cashmere
The Fund has selected 7 projects in 7 different 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 practiced may vary depending on the region, soils, and type of crops or livestock, there are some key principles and 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’.
About our partnership
Conservation International is working to help introduce 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, Conservation International is aligning stakeholders around a common vision for regenerative agriculture, developing multi-stakeholder collaborations that incentivize and deliver on its promise.
Kering has launched a number of initiatives for the protection and sustainability of natural resources, which play a pivotal role in its activities. In 2020, the Group took this commitment a step further by unveiling a Biodiversity strategy comprising four stages: avoid, reduce, restore & regenerate, and transform.
At Kering, we believe it is paramount that animal welfare is improved across fashion and luxury production lines. Kering has rolled out its Standards and on-the-ground projects and participated in collective initiatives in an effort to drive positive change in supply chain practices on both a Group and industry-wide basis.