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November 7, 2022
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Uruguayan designer marks a new milestone in the luxury fashion industry

Uruguayan designer marks a new milestone in the luxury fashion industry

luxury brand, Chloé, was certified as the first company B in the industry less than a year after the Uruguayan designer, Gabriela Hearst, took over as creative director.

Few fashion companies have achieved B-company status—and no era of luxury fashion so far—because achieving it is a huge challenge.

As explained by the Uruguayan designer in an interview with the Financial Timesbroadly speaking —and as a basic characteristic of B companies—, Chloé had to open the books to external auditors, reformulate the corporate charter to give structural weight to environmental factors, and rethink how the business benefits all stakeholders: shareholders, employees, manufacturers and suppliers.

But in addition, —and one reason why Chloé stands out— is that in this particular case, being a B company means that all employees make their own contributions. Hearst explained that this is the least that a relatively privileged person can do in today’s world: “You need to find time to give to others, be it time, effort or money”. In this sense, the designer said that the efforts of employees to the brand are organized by the human resources department, which proposes different ways to participate:

“In design —which is what I know the most—, we choose non-profit organizations as suppliers”, he stated and mentioned as a reference the Uruguayan company Manos del Uruguay. Additionally, she credited the founder of the UN’s ethical fashion initiative, Simone Cipriani, for helping to pair Chloé’s ateliers with other artisans from developing countries.

Hearst also conveys the message of sustainability in its designs, regardless of the circumstances of its manufacture: the luxury brand’s fall/winter collection featured a group of prints called climate success (climate success, in Spanish) depicting melting glaciers, forest fires and droughts contrasted with healthy landscapes.

As reported fashion, Chloé has reduced its carbon footprint by 400% since the Uruguayan designer took on her role. However, the company claimed that the process of becoming a B company started earlier.

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