Saint Laurent launches sustainability-focused couture training project

Saint Laurent is stepping up its sustainability game. The esteemed French fashion house announced the launch of a “training program for couture savoir-faire,” to support the next generation of France’s couturiers, and preserve the national foothold of excellence in the industry.

The six-month program will focus on innovation and sustainability, in partnership with the nation’s top couture schools, the Institut Français de la Mode and the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. In a report with WWD, Saint Laurent’s President and CEO Francesca Bellettini notes, “preserving our heritage while evolving and being very relevant in our epoch is a pillar of our strategy, and investing in talents is an imperative condition to build our success even further.” The program certainly mirrors the brand’s history of nurturing young fashion talents – Yves himself was only 24 when creating his illustrious brand – and both Hedi Slimane and Anthony Vaccarello have continued the brand’s legacy of modernizing traditional couture.

This is not the first time Saint Laurent has shown its commitment to improving its carbon footprint, as its parent company Kering has made repeated efforts to craft a more sustainable luxury by 2025. Saint Laurent is one of its “brands in action,” with a minimalist, LEED-certified architectural concept to reduce the environmental impact of its stores. They are also moving to incorporate more sustainable fabrics throughout their brand roster. With the training program, Kering is upholding its corporate pledge to “create pioneering ideas to safeguard our rich heritage, and empower future generations.”

While couture is often seen as a diminishing market, with the backing of a venerated house like Saint Laurent, this program could infuse the craft with a forward-thinking perspective and youthful enterprise. The fashion world is often snubbed for it’s ‘less-than-ethical’ industry practices, but the program raises the bar in corporate responsibility. If more power players like Saint Laurent take a leap towards sustainability, the industry can embrace a new model – on and off the runway – for a greater fashion of tomorrow.

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