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In a key step to guide its transformation into a purpose-driven company focused on environmental and social sustainability, Chloé has made good on its promise to establish a sustainability board, WWD has learned.
And it has secured two high-profile external advisers, including American civil-rights activist Amanda Nguyen, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for her efforts to change how the U.S. criminal justice system deals with sexual violence and its survivors.
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A rape survivor, Nguyen is the founder and chief executive officer of Rise, a Washington-based non-governmental organization that helps people enact legislative changes to protect civil rights and foster social justice movements. She is also an aspiring astronaut and recently has been a key figure in bringing media attention to the wave of Asian hate in America, urging collective action.
Also joining the Chloé sustainability board is Elisabeth Laville, who in 1993 founded Utopies, which is billed as the first consulting firm in France specializing in sustainability. Utopies received B Corp certification in 2014.
“Thanks to their exceptional expertise and inspiring background, Amanda and Elisabeth will be enriching our sustainability strategy with an external perspective, holding us accountable and transparent on our commitments,” Chloé said in a recent post on LinkedIn. “They are officially joining our new sustainability board, together with Riccardo Bellini, our CEO, Gabriela Hearst, our creative director, as well as members from our executive committee, including our sustainability director.”
According to Chloé, the first meeting was held on March 17 “to validate the strategy and the Ssustainability road map” and that board meetings would take place twice a year.
“The potential for change lies within women — as a company, Chloé has the potential to create that change by uplifting women,” Nguyen told WWD. “For me, change isn’t about being a voice for the voiceless, it’s about passing the mic to those people — and it can take different forms. Fashion is one of them.
“The role that Chloé has is not only to be the leader in gender equality, but to present an intentional way of being better. It impacts so much more than just the group that we are trying to address,” she added.
It is understood that Chloé plans to share the board’s doings on its website, which details its “women forward” commitments, such as recently signing on with the Women Empowerment Principles of the United Nations.
Bellini revealed plans to retool Chloé’s business model to one that is purpose-driven, community-based and accountable, in addition to being highly creative, in an exclusive interview with WWD in November.
Bellini is convinced that “companies will have to take more responsibility and accountability for the impact they have on the planet and society” and forge “trustworthy relationships with consumers.”
The advisory board is meant to guide the company and hold it accountable. The Compagnie Financière Richemont-owned fashion house is creating a social profit and loss account, akin to an EP&L, billed as a first for the industry. It is also seeking B Corp certification for its social and environmental performance and establishing an “impact fund” dedicated to girls’ education, among other initiatives.
As reported, Hearst’s first collection for Chloé for fall 2021, unveiled in March during Paris Fashion Week, was already four times more sustainable than the one a year ago, with 80 percent of the cashmere used in the collection sourced from a recycled supply.