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. 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 to make the change, building awareness of the need to improve farm-level practices, and ensuring the right market mechanisms are in place to scale up regenerative agricultural production.
Kering and Conservation International launched the Regenerative Fund for Nature with a shared desire to support transformation in the world of agriculture. Over the next five years, their initiative will drive a transition from current farming methods to regenerative practices for 1,000,000 hectares of crop and rangelands. The Fund will provide grants to projects that help producers at the frontlines of agricultural change. In turn, making a success of these projects will help the Fund to promote new approaches to raw material production and sourcing by the fashion sector. Ultimately, the Fund will deliver measurable outcomes in terms of increased biodiversity and a contribution to mitigating climate change, while at the same time supporting improved animal welfare and rural livelihoods.
In practice, the Fund will provide grants to farming groups, project developers, NGOs and other stakeholders who are ready to test, prove and scale regenerative practices, which focus on working in harmony with natural systems. The Fund will accept the first round of applications in early 2021 and aims to allocate grants by mid-2021.
Advanced science-based tools and methodologies will be used to set the Fund’s priorities and track the progress of its projects, so that tangible, measured results can be delivered for its entire portfolio.
The Fund’s two ultimate aims are to show how nature, climate change and livelihoods can change for the better, thanks to transforming agricultural practices, and how the fashion sector can support supply chain and sourcing approaches that deliver positive outcomes. Being able to scale up the quantity and quality of natural, regenerative raw materials for the fashion sector is one of the Fund’s key goals.
To be considered for the round of grant funding, 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.
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.
The Fund will transform 1 million hectares of land into regenerative agricultural practices by 2025
The Fund will focus on leather, cotton, wool and cashmere
The Fund will focus on 17 countries (see map)
€100K - €500K
Expected total grant size for 1-3 years and for each project
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/livestock, there are some key principles and outcomes that we use to define regenerative:
Increasing carbon in the soil and other improvements in soil health (e.g. capacity to retain water)
Protecting and restoring native habitat and biodiversity
Eliminating the use of unnecessary, synthetic harmful chemicals
Improving farmer livelihoods
Enhancing animal welfare
Regenerative agriculture encompasses both traditional, proven practices and innovation in terms of 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 partnership with Conservation International
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.