I have to admit: Kering is making its way into my heart.
The French fashion group formally known as PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute) has changed its name to Kering, a name chosen in part of its allusion to the word “caring”. In alignment with this association, Kering is attempting to show that they are a company that indeed, cares.
I know companies implement social responsibility initiatives ultimately to benefit their business goals, but I believe that so long as it is implemented with integrity, it can be incredibly transformative. In Kering’s case, it seems they actually do mean what they say, and it shows.
Founded by Francois Pinault and now run by his son of the same name, Kering is a luxury and sport/lifestyle holding company, which owns the Gucci Group, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, and sport apparel brands such as Volcom and Puma. Despite its acquisition of many prestigious brands, what impresses me most about the group is its serious commitment to environmental and social sustainability.
The Paris-based corporation employs a sustainability department, a group of house experts that ensure all their brands operate on the highest standard of social responsibility, measuring environmental impact across the supply chain.
But the arrow that struck my heart is hands down, the Kering Corporate Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights, which is dedicated to fighting violence against women and empowering women to reach their potential through education and entrepreneurship. With credible and impressive programs deployed in Africa, Asia, and South America, Kering not only partners with NGOs around the world, but also sponsors up and coming female social entrepreneurs, raises awareness through campaigns, and creates opportunities for employees to participate in projects benefitting women in need.
Though I’m careful about fully endorsing corporate social responsibility initiatives until I’ve witnessed its impact firsthand, I can’t help but feel excited about the work Kering is doing.
I hope they prove that the industry can care, with integrity, meaning, and true compassion.
By: Ruby Veridiano