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Apparel and accessories

Valentino kicks into high gear with multichannel sustainability effort

January 19, 2022

The sneakers come in several colorways, including one model with rainbow rock studs. Image courtesy of Valentino


Italy’s Valentino is putting its most sustainable foot forward in celebrating its new project, Open For A Change.

The brand debuted the project through a short film showcasing sustainably sourced sneakers, part of the label’s spring/summer 2022 collection and the first iteration of the new project. Open for A Change, complete with a digitally printed green logo with arrows indicating circularity, is aiming to unite the brand’s creativity and ethos with its environmental goals.

“Valentino has always been a brand that is about an elevated signature style, said Kimmie Smith, cofounder and creative director of Athleisure Mag, New York. “The shoes incorporate the Open and Rockstud Untitled styles that are design aesthetics that can be found in other shoes in the collection which allows them to be linked to a larger assortment.

“I think it’s effective to include this in their product assortment as a number of consumers are looking for sustainable options and in turn, brands have realized that this is an essential element that they should include,” she said. “To have a sneaker is a great way to lean into streetwear, sneaker culture and to the athleisure trend that many of us live in due to recent events as well as the trend that existed prior to the pandemic.”

Starting with shoes
The promotional vignette for the new Valentino Garavani Open for a Change project is short, entertaining and to the point.

The setup seems at once realistic, with it beginning with planting something in the dirt, and fantastical, as the Valentino sneaker grows out of the ground.

Sustainability is reflected in every aspect of the effort. With quick, artsy shots, the sneaker propels into the clouds, then is put in environment-centric packaging, made of recycled cotton and paper which is sourced from sustainably-managed forests.

Continuing with its entertaining feel, more sneaker continues gallivanting across the screen, changing colorways, featuring yellow and green straps, a sneaker with rainbow rock studs and more.

The vignette then ends endearingly, as the final pair of green-striped shoes is placed in a sustainably sourced cardboard box before a shoelace escapes to switch off the room’s light switch.

The new Open for a Change project is indicative of Valentino’s efforts to prioritize environmental efforts and sustainable sourcing even more. The house is looking to continue melding the past, its stylish ethos and base, with the present and future — a concern for how we treat the planet that gives us the materials to produce luxury.

The packaging is environment-centric, made of fully recycled cotton and paper. Image courtesy of Valentino

There will be various iterations of the new program, and Valentino Garavani Open for a Change is available in Valentino boutiques worldwide and online.

“This new effort expands and informs the consumer of Valentino’s ethos,” said Rebecca Miller, founder/CEO of ARTful Communication, New York. “Luxury goods have long been associated with fine and rare materials."

Showcasing sustainability
As time progresses, brands and retailers are continuing to augment and expand their environmental goals, initiatives and programs.

Luxury brands across sectors are prioritizing sustainability in disparate ways.

British fashion house Burberry has refinanced its Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) to a 300 million pound, or $409.5 million at current exchange, sustainability loan, coordinated by Lloyds Bank.

Building on the brand’s efforts to incorporate ESG standards across all operations, the funding is connected to Burberry’s ambition to become climate positive within the next eight years. This also includes accelerating emissions reductions across supply chains by 46 percent (see story).

2022 will be a crucial year in preserving the earth’s resources and promoting brand practices that best protect the environment for the near future, according to Positive Luxury.

Positive Luxury’s 2022 Predictions Report calls on brands and organizations to be cognizant of the immense challenges stemming from climate change and luxury’s role in tapping resources. Brands must make efforts to make ethical decisions, be transparent in their policies and able to reach all age groups while maintaining optimism for the road ahead (see story).

“Priorities have shifted and so must luxury brands to remain or secure advocates,” ARTful Communication’s Ms. Miller said. “The key will be consistency, not just a one-note wonder — at the moment.”