Kering wants to boost Chinese startups with the potential to bring a positive environmental and social impact to the apparel and textile industries. Together with startup accelerator Plug and Play, the luxury conglomerate is launching the Kering Sustainable Innovation Award, offering mentorship and networking trips to the USA and Europe for three winners. The top winner also gets a monetary prize worth 100,000 euros (approximately 113,000 US dollars).
“Kering is excited to extend our Plug and Play collaboration to China where we recognize that the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of Chinese startups offer endless solutions to fashion’s sustainability challenges”, said Kering’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Institutional Affairs, Marie-Claire Daveu, in a statement. “Innovation and smart problem-solving are critical to reinvent luxury’s business model as sustainable”.
The selection process is set to take place between December 2018 and August 2019, under Daveu’s leadership. Winners will be selected by a jury which includes Kering’s President of Greater China, Jinqing Cai; the Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design, Burak Cakmak; the Managing Director of Fashion for Good, Katrin Ley; and philanthropist Susan Rockefeller, to name but a few.
“We look forward to finding and investing in excellent startups in retail and use, new materials, energy efficiency, green supply chain and other areas”, stated Peter Xu, Executive Director and CEO of Plug and Play China.