LVMH’s latest business is a dead animal tissue platform
The name of the LVMH house initially supplying corpses to Nona Source has been kept secret.
Traditionally, there has been a stigma around dead animals, with brands fearing its mere existence suggests mismanagement or poor business decision-making. However, Benedetto believes that this broader industry mindset that has hindered progress on this issue is changing. “LVMH comes forward and publicly declares what it does and supports it is extremely valuable,” she said. “Everyone has this waste. It’s inherent in the fashion production system, at least in the way it was historically done. But now we’re at a tipping point where we can do better with our waste, make money, save money, have a lasting story to tell. It can also pave the way for a powerful collaboration: “one person’s waste, another person’s design collection”.
“We want to start small,” says Falguera. The platform’s product pages provide all kinds of information: origin (but not the name of the supplier), widths, weight and composition. Customers can search by price or quantity, the latter being useful for large brands that may require large quantities, even for capsule collections. The prices are 60 to 70 percent lower than the gross price originally paid.
The warehouse is near Tours, in western France. Shipping to customers is limited to Europe. “There is a local issue,” says Brabo. “We want to minimize the transport of materials.” Brexit has put a huge question mark on the possibility of shipping to the UK.
On the road, the platform must extend beyond fabrics and leather. “We want to be a creative resource platform in the broadest sense,” says Brabo, citing for future zippers, buttons, stripes and spools of thread. “We would love to have a designer make a 100% collection with dead stock from Nona Source,” he says.
The website with high resolution close-ups of fabrics is designed to entice people to shop online: no samples are available. However, there will be a showroom at the La Caserne incubator in Paris. The incubator starts in June, the showroom will follow in the fall.
Nona Source fits perfectly into LVMH’s broader circular strategy, says Alexandre Capelli, deputy environmental director at LVMH. The group recently unveiled its Life 360 strategy, an environmental performance roadmap made up of four pillars including “creative circularity”. It is a comprehensive program, explains Capelli, including “eco-design, the integration of recycled materials in our products and packaging with percentage targets that will increase by 2023, 2026 and 2030, the testing of new models such as rental and resale, and the avoidance of destruction of unsold products. “
The project is certainly timely, because France is implementing a law prohibiting the destruction of unsold goods. Waste has become a pressing problem in the fashion industry. Queen of Raw’s Stephanie Benedetto warns that there is no time to waste: “If [brands] don’t innovate today and start thinking about it, in 12-24 months the problem will already be too big for them.
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