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Sustainability as a culture, more than a commitment – Moncler was born to protect

The down jackets’ company launches its five years sustainability plan – a commitment to climate action, circular economy, equitable sourcing, restitution to local communities, and strengthening diversity

«We have long been committed to creating value for all stakeholders through the integration of sustainability into our business model» said Remo Ruffini, Chairman and CEO of Moncler, «but we know that what has been achieved today is not enough for tomorrow. Sustainability is a collaborative effort of each and every one of our more than 4,500 people that every day put their energy into their work to contribute to delivering a bright future for generations to come». Moncler has pledged to establish a Diversity and Inclusion Council to boost cultural change, internally and externally by January 2021, to use 100 percent renewable energy worldwide and to progressively advance low-impact fabrics in the collections. Throughout the years, the company has already implemented sustainability programs such as packaging made out of 90 percent sustainable materials and energy efficiency programs like the LED introduction that has resulted in a 30 percent drop in its direct CO2 emissions. Its objective is carbon neutrality by the end of 2021 for its own sites. 

Using 50 percent sustainable nylon (both recycled, certified nylon, according to the Global Recycled Standard, and bio-based certified nylon) by 2025; and recycling more than 80 percent of nylon fabric scraps by 2023. The brand is aiming to trace 100 percent of key raw materials by 2023. Moncler is known for their Down jackets: since 2015 all its Down is fully traced  through the supply chain back to the farm. For this, the brand has created the DIST Protocol (Down Integrity System and Traceability)  — a strict program for Down traceability and animal welfare through which the Group demands and verifies through independent parties that all of its down suppliers comply with stringent requirements. This regulates farming standards, traceability, and technical quality, and ensures that Moncler only purchases Down that is DIST-certified, which is derived exclusively from farmed geese and as a by-product of the food chain.

moncler fw17 liu bolin
Moncler FW17 campaign featuring Chinese artist Liu Bolin and portrayed by American photographer Annie Leibovitz

The origins of the Moncler name lie in its very roots: an abbreviation of Monestier-de-Clermont, a mountain village near Grenoble. Founded in 1952 by René Ramillon and Andrè Vincent, initially, Moncler only made quilted sleeping bags, a single model of a lined hooded cape and tents with a telescopic structure and an external flysheet — aimed at protecting workers from the cold. Intrinsically linked within the brand DNA, protection has long been part of the Moncler ethos, later extended to humans and nature. With the product originally far from the world of fashion and trends, the Moncler jackets were built to last and protect, which is why their new initiative seems fitting. From the French Alpine Skiing Team for the 1960 Winter Olympics to the 2013 till today, Moncler has honored the union of fashion and protection. The brand hears stories from customers who have held onto their Moncler jackets for over fifteen years and are looking to have them repaired. This commitment to protection is linked not only to the planet but also to the people: by 2023 Moncler aims to protect 100,000 families and children from the cold in disadvantaged areas. This will include a survival kit for newborns, blankets, and materials in partnership with Unicef. Each area has been identified by Unicef as an area in need according to analysis such as: Nepal, Mongolia, Lebanon and Syria. In conjunction, Moncler started collaborating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) this year, aimed at targeting people or refugees outside of their home countries in need of protection, jackets and coats. Here, Moncler donates their products directly to the initiative and people in need.

Traceability within the fashion industry is a pending issue despite countless initiatives or greenwashing claims. Instead, Moncler implements sustainability as a culture within every department of the company as opposed to a trend. Across each sector of the company, the sustainability ambassadors have been elected to ensure the culture for sustainable approaches is organically spread throughout their strategies. In 2019, the brand organized a Hackathon where the company came together to search for more ethical and sustainable practices. One of the leading ideas suggested was how to integrate sustainability within their strategy better. This created energy as a young and diverse company resulting in their ambassadors for sustainability as they spread that awareness every day. Still this can often get stuck behind the many factors to consider when launching sustainability plans within luxury fashion companies. Technicality is key and referencing isn’t sufficient. Where Moncler thrive is their in-depth knowledge and commitment to their initiatives. Publicly, the brand does not over-communicate about sustainability efforts even if as a commitment to transparency all data and information referred to the company’s impact and initiatives are included in the Sustainability Report and website. For Moncler, sustainability it is linked to their DNA, it is a way of doing things with expert and deep knowledge. Their leading sustainability team is composed of four people who believe that sustainability should be embedded as a culture. «Even if a lot has been done to date, we know that we need to do more to find new alliances and solutions to the urgent social and environmental challenges the world is facing globally. Sustainability has no final destination », said Ruffini. For the second year in a row, the Moncler firm is at the top of Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes in the «textiles, clothing & luxury products» category. The index admits only the companies assessed as best in class with reference to sustainability policies, programs and performance.

Since the end of February, when the pandemic took over Europe and Italy, the company began working from home and changed its communication strategies. Overnight everything changed: the company was faced with the challenge of having to select the most important projects to be kept and the ones to be postponed. Ultimately, every Sustainability project was ranked high-importance; none were delayed or cancelled. Technology and project planning ensured its monitoring and that the company is in line with all of its targets. As an area considered a priority for the company, these projects are still maintained and will be carried out in the new year. During the Covid-19 pandemic the company has assisted the community with different initiatives. Moncler started producing surgical masks, supported home health-care assistance through a dedicated program and is supplying schools in Milan with computers and devices for children from elementary to middle schools to digitize their learning methods and allow equal opportunities for families who do not have the equipment to learn from home.  Since 2019, Moncler also offers Italian employees the opportunity to volunteer during working hours by engaging with selected associations. This has proven to be also a tool for complete internal engagement as it builds strong relations throughout the company. The press has praised the company initiatives ahead of their new acquisition of the Italian sportswear brand Stone Island for 1.15 billion euros, for pioneering and leading the market in sustainable practices in an industry still overshadowed by murky waters. Moncler is aware that sustainability has no final destination because it is constantly evolving. As new questions surrounding raw materials and transparency arise, their research teams and highly trained experts in sustainable strategies are on the look-out for new, effective methods with a lower impact on the environment and initiatives to support the communities around them.

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The Italian luxury brand Moncler is becoming carbon neutral across all its sites, including production facilities, logistics centers, offices, and shops –  the company has announced. Moncler is further committing to sustainability under its Born to Protect Sustainability Plan until 2025 — the first time the brand has outlined a comprehensive strategic five-year plan since creating a sustainability unit in 2015. The plan focuses on five strategic drivers: climate action, circular economy, equitable sourcing, restitution to local communities, and strengthening diversity.

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