Prince of Wales on leather’s role in the circular economy

Prince of Wales on leather’s role in the circular economy

Prince of Wales on leather’s role in the circular economy

4th November 2021

Charles has praised the environmental value of ethically produced leather at a reception for CEOs of the world’s biggest fashion brands.

Speaking during a demonstration of a new digital ID system that reveals the sustainability credentials of clothes and accessories, Prince Charles stressed the importance of “transparency, accountability and enforcement”.

The system was demonstrated on products including a sky-blue Mulberry handbag. The Prince asked whether it was leather and if it was sourced in the UK.

When told it was sourced from regenerative farming methods and is low carbon, Prince Charles said that he wished “people knew the value” of ethically-produced leather in the “circular economy” over plastic or “strange spun” synthetic material.

The reception was part of the Prince of Wales’s Fashion Taskforce initiative and was held in the grounds of the British Embassy in Rome during the recent G20 summit. Those in attendance included Andre Cameran from Giorgio Armani, Simon Cotton from Johnstons of Elgin, Thierry Andretta from Mulberry and Riccardo Bellini from Chloe. Natasha Franck was there to represent EON, the company that built the ID system.

Federico Marchetti, chair of the Prince of Wales’s Fashion Taskforce and founder of YOOX NET-A-PORTER Group, said: “The time for only talk is over. In such a highly competitive industry it is unprecedented for so many different brands and platforms from all around the world to work together on a single innovative solution, and I am delighted to say this commitment is the result of an incredible group of companies and their leaders who recognize there is no time left to lose in transitioning the industry to a more transparent and sustainable footing.

“This Digital ID provides a genuine opportunity for consumers to make truly sustainable choices when they are making their purchases.

Prince Charles said: “People have the right to know if what they buy is created sustainably and there is a responsibility to tell them if we truly believe in the shared principles of transparency, accountability and enforcement.

“Fashion is one of the most polluting sectors in the world, but this new Digital ID shows how business is committed to meaningful, measurable change: providing customers with the information they need to make cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable choices. It shows that business doesn’t just talk about these issues but has taken action.”

The ID system is expected to be in operation by the launch of the Autumn Winter 2022 collections.