Emma Watson joins the board of fashion giant Kering, owner of several luxury labels
Kering oversees Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta.
The 30-year-old will be the chair of the board’s sustainability committee as the conglomerate tries to move further into the eco-friendly fashion space.
It’s a fitting position for the sustainable and ethical fashion activist, who has a history of championing eco-friendly fashion practices.
She often wears sustainable or recycled fashion on the red carpet, (shout out to the recycled plastic bottle Calvin Klein gown for the 2016 Met Gala) and is also the face of the Good On You app, which rates fashion brands based on how environmentally friendly their practices are.
Ironically, the app has only rated Kering brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga as “Not good enough” or “It’s a start”, which is largely why the company brought her on board as part of the sustainability committee.
It’s a smart move by the conglomerate, especially considering they recently lost Stella McCartney, and her largely ethical luxury label, to chief competition LVMH (Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Fenty and others) after 17 years of business together.
The French company is also going carbon neutral across its operations and supply chain, and spearheaded the G7 Fashion Pact, which brought 65 brands together to commit to eco-friendly practices.
These steps are important for an industry that often escapes scrutiny when it comes to damaging the planet when, according to the UN, the fashion industry consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industries combined, and produces mass waste and pollution.
In an interview with British Vogue, the Harry Potter star shared some insight into why she’s excited to get started with her new role.
“It became clear to me then that sustainability in fashion is a critical issue given how the industry can have damaging impacts on the environment, on workers’ rights, and on animal welfare. It is also a feminist issue. It’s estimated around 80% of the world’s garment workers are women aged between 18 and 35.
“At this unprecedented time in history, we have big decisions to make and actions to take in how we positively reinvent and reconfigure what we do and how we do it. It genuinely feels like an exciting time to have this opportunity when things might shift.”
Hear, hear Emma!