MILAN — Brunello Cucinelli joins the Sustainable Markets Initiative by funding the Himalayan Regenerative Fashion Living Lab.
As reported, the SMI Fashion Task Force is heading to the Himalayas in the first phase of a long-term green fashion project and Cucinelli is joining forces through its namesake company.
The entrepreneur flanked HRH The Prince of Wales and Federico Marchetti, chair of the SMI Fashion Task Force. The Prince of Wales launched SMI during the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2020.
“This project is very much in line with our own culture of restoring the land around us,” Cucinelli told WWD.
He invested 1 million euros, committed to developing regenerative agriculture and financially supporting local textile producers through the project. Over the years, Cucinelli has restored the medieval hamlet of Solomeo, where the company is headquartered, and contributed to several initiatives that benefit the local area.
“I’ve always admired the prince for talking about global warming and sustainability – he did it as far back as the 80s,” said Cucinelli. “He also often talks about repopulating a storied hamlet in Scotland and he is interested in our village of Solomeo. I met him at the G20 meeting [in Rome last October] and he really likes Italy.”
With an eye on fashion, Cucinelli credits the Prince of Wales for his style. “She is very beautiful, among the most elegant men in the world. We have a lot of his pictures on our mood board at the company.”
The project will restore degraded landscapes and restore traditional craft and textile skills to boost local cashmere, cotton and silk economies, while addressing global challenges related to climate change and biodiversity loss.
The “Himalayan Regenerative Living Lab” project will be implemented in the field by Reforest Action and the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance led by scientist Marc Palahí and will run through 2022 and 2023. The project will help restore wildlife and sustainable agriculture to what has become an overly landscaped landscape. overworked and degraded.
“This is a project about people living where they were born and I love it,” continues Cucinelli, who plans to help local communities commercialize silk, cotton and cashmere products. “I have great confidence in this project,” said Cucinelli, who plans a trip to the area in October or November.
“Our Mother Earth has welcomed and nurtured us, has allowed us to enjoy its incredible resources, and it is our great responsibility to protect it as fully and as carefully as possible,” he said. “I have always been fascinated by the East, by this region of the world and the people who live where the landscape is so breathtaking and the sky so close to people. With sincere enthusiasm we have agreed to join the supreme humanitarian project, so that various populations can continue to live in places where their ancient life was in harmony with nature. As in the case of Solomeo, I believe that landscape, economy, crafts and tradition are part of the whole, which the Himalayan Regenerative Fashion Living Lab project cleverly conceives of as a holistic whole.”
Investments in Himalayan regeneration projects are just the beginning, with more regions around the world set to receive funding in the months and years to come.
The SMI Mode Task Force — which has 15 members including Giorgio Armani, Stella McCartney, Burberry, Zalando and Selfridges Group — will work to reduce or reverse the effects of over-agriculture, overgrazing, reduced water supplies, and the long-term use of destructive pesticides in various areas. .
The Sustainable Markets Initiative was conceived and chaired by The Prince of Wales, which aims to build a coordinated global effort to enable the private sector to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. The initiative has a number of task forces, each dedicated to a specific sector — from fashion to banking to energy transition.