At YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP our design and buying teams have been embracing new approaches to creating and sourcing products. One of our key Circular Business commitments through Infinity is to ‘Design for Circular’, and as a Group we have committed to accelerate circularity through collaboration with brand partners and by ensuring every one of our private label products is designed for sustainability and circularity by 2025.
In 2020 we provided specialist training to our in-house private label and multi-brand buying teams to enhance their knowledge and skills for embedding sustainability and circularity into their thinking and their work. In an effort to further support and amplify the work our teams have been doing we have developed a sustainable and circular product and procurement framework called the Infinity Product Guide.
The Infinity Product Guide is a tool for our buying and private label teams to use alongside other resources and processes already in place. It’s a set of 10 principles to consider when making design or buying decisions, principles we have honed and developed over the last decade through sustainability projects and initiatives, of which YOOXYGEN, Net Sustain, the Craftsmanship Code and the Modern Artisan are a few highlights. They also reflect and build upon the commitments we have made across the business including our policy to exclude fur from our offer to customers. We believe that by putting the principles at the heart of our business we can offer better products but also create new experiences and encourage more conscious behaviours.
The ten principles:
MATERIALS – Create products using Regenerative, Low Impact Renewable, or Recycled materials.
PROCESSES – Create products using processes that avoid hazardous chemicals and make effective use of resources.
ANIMAL WELFARE – Protect animal welfare and promote best practice across the supply chain.
ENVIRONMENT – Collaborate with suppliers and partners who are committed to continuous environmental improvement.
TRANSPARENCY – Promote supply chain transparency with all partners.
CRAFTSMANSHIP – Create products which value the quality and skill of true craftmanship.
LONGEVITY – Extend the life of products by increasing their use and reuse.
END OF LIFE – Enable remaking and recycling for products no longer in use.
PACKAGING – Reduce, reuse and recycle all packaging used throughout the supply chain.
The principles refer to the entire product lifecycle from how raw materials are harvested and how a product is made to how it is used and what happens when it comes to the end of its life. We believe each principle plays an integral part in taking environmental and social responsibility for the products we create and offer and we’ve considered industry best practices and internationally recognised environmental and social standards to help us develop a series of detailed prompts for embedding the ten principles into the design and buying process.
Alongside the guide we have been working with each of our teams to develop their own roadmap to 2025. Their action plan and seasonal targets will be supported by the Group’s sustainability team and dedicated resources and tools. We are proud of the progress our teams have made to date and we are delighted to share this guide with the launch of Iris & Ink’s Considered Collection, with 66% of all styles meeting the rigorous material standards outlined in the guide.
We understand that sustainability and circularity exist within a system and not solely within a product. We are committed to using our platform to help create a shift in mindsets and habits. That is why the Infinity Product Guide is joined by other initiatives dedicated to facilitating this shift – for example, our care and repair programme focuses on establishing on the ground partnerships and repair services for our customers around the world, and through the EON Product Cloud, unique Digital IDs embedded in our private label products enable us to share product information on provenance, care and repair, resale and recycling with our customers.
We have created this guide for our own teams, but we are making it publicly available so that others can use it, test it, and feedback on it, with the aim of increasing the availability and desirability of luxury fashion that is more sustainable and circular. We see this as an important step in our journey, and we will review and update this guide as we gain knowledge by continuing to put the principles into practice and as innovation and industry action evolves. We are committed to sharing our learnings and challenges as we work towards our 2025 goals, and we will provide detailed progress updates through our annual Infinity Progress Reports.