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MatchesFashion launches responsible edit to “drive positive change”

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

5 Mar 2020

Fashion

MatchesFashion has launched The Responsible Edit, an online hub where its customers can discover brands that the luxury retailer states are at the “forefront of conscious fashion” as part of its pledge to promote socially and environmentally responsible practices.

The Responsible Edit, is the culminating of more than two years of work with their partner Eco-Age, and is part of the implementation and growth of the retailer’s internal Sustainability Survey project, which was built with the intention of understanding, encouraging, and collaborating with brands to create positive and transparent change for a more sustainable fashion industry.

Jess Christie, chief brand officer at MatchesFashion, said in a statement: ‘‘Our responsibility is to enable our customers to shop fashion, which they love, in a more considered way. Nearly 70 percent of our customers say that they try to live their lives as sustainably as possible - a response that is impossible to ignore. If you think about this in terms of our brand’s responsibility – to our customers, brands and employees, you can start to make incremental changes.”

The carefully curated edit has launched with more than 200 brands, with all of them falling into at least one or more of MatchesFashion’s four key ‘Responsible Pillars’ - Artisans, people, charity and materials.

MatchesFashion creates The Responsible Edit sharing labels dedicated to sustainable fashion

The edit, across womenswear and menswear, can then be broken down and shopped within each pillar, for instance, shopping the Artisans edit will share labels that protecting traditional skills by championing artisanal manufacturing processes, with more than 50 percent of a brand’s production team needing to be made up of artisans and craftspeople for all or specific collections.

While for the Charity edit, the designers featured are committed to charitable causes or have their own long-term initiatives in place, and for brands in the People pillar they need to share how they are driving positive change for the people in their supply chain, by promoting fair work environments, commitment to fair trade practices or ensuring certified living wages are paid.

The final pillar, Materials, highlights labels that produce products that contain more than 50 percent lower-impact material content, such as responsibly sourced recycled or vintage fabrics and plant-based leather alternatives or organic or natural dyes.

Christie added: “The Responsible Edit is exciting as it represents a myriad of ways that brands are addressing their social and environmental responsibilities. Whilst some brands may be featured in more than one pillar, other brands might be championing a very specific area which is central to the ethos and philosophy of their business.

“The work undertaken in the survey has shown impressive priorities and commitments from brands across a wide range of areas, showing what the term ‘sustainability’ means to them today.”

More than 200 designers featured in MatchesFashion’s The Responsible Edit

A selection of the designers featured in the edit includes Acne Studios, Bella Freud, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Burberry, Gabriela Hearst, Ganni, Halpern, Katherine Hamnett London, Mara Hoffman, Preen By Thornton Bregazzi, Rave Review, Self Portrait, SSONE, Stella McCartney, Veja, Paul Smith, and Raf Simons.

Natalie Kingham, fashion and buying director at MatchesFashion, said on the brand’s website: “We are always looking for great design first and foremost, and then we look to the processes behind those pieces. This is led by our customer, who is really interested in where a product is made, how and by whom, and what it is made from. This is how we have always done things, but now we’re giving that knowledge to our customers in one place.

“We’re highlighting progress, not perfection. The edit brings together brands big and small, taking steps big and small. The will to make meaningful change is what matters most.”

Kingham added: “We want to help our customer to understand which designers are actively striving to implement initiatives in responsible ways and how they are doing it.”

The Responsible Edit is the latest initiatives from MatchesFashion as part of its commitment to sustainability, the luxury fashion retailer has implemented numerous initiatives including buyer training workshops led by Eco-Age to educate buyers about materials and supply chains, covering issues such as modern slavery, living wages, and ways that brands can engage in social and environmental initiatives to ensure they have a positive impact on both the environment and communities.

MatchesFashion also ensures that all products stocked adhere to its material position statement, which is updated annually, as well as that all of its customer packaging is made entirely out of recycled and low impact materials, and most recently, the retailer signed up to the Fashion Pact, a global alliance of fashion brands committed to collaborating to meet environmental goals.

Images: courtesy of MatchesFashion