Kering Award Finalist: Agnes Kiss

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Over the next few months, we will be introducing you to each of the ten finalists for the Kering Award for Sustainability 2016, hearing about their projects and their thoughts on the Award process, ahead of the winner announcements in November. Since January 2016, these students have been developing and refining their sustainability projects, and presented them to an esteemed panel of judges from Kering, the London College of Fashion and each of our partner brands, Stella McCartney and Brioni.

Agnes Kiss, MA Strategic Fashion Marketing student, designed a social platform in which the focus is on creating a ‘culture of care’ rather than one of consumption. Before starting at London College of Fashion, Agnes worked at a sustainability focused luxury fashion house in her home country, Hungary. Part of her role included creating a marketing communication strategy which aimed to educate their clientele and influential professionals in the fashion industry. It was there that she learned the power of marketing as a means through which to spread ideas around sustainability, and to educate designers and consumers to think and behave more sustainably.

As a Kering Award finalist, she wanted to introduce an easy and effective platform that customers could use to reduce their ecological footprint, while also enhancing the performance of the company. She did this through story telling, and creating a greater appreciation for clothing, therefore extending the life and reducing the environmental impacts.

We caught up with Agnes, to find out more about her Kering Award project.

What does sustainability in fashion mean to you, and how does it influence your work?

‘For me, sustainability means a lot more than eco-friendly materials or manufacturing. It also involves our relationship with our communities and ourselves and this is what I hoped to raise awareness of.’

What attracted you to the Kering Award, and what was the inspiration behind your project?

‘The Kering Award was an invaluable opportunity to delve into sustainability and get real-time feedback on our developing ideas from industry experts. I was inspired to research and find a new and unique way of sustainability communication as it considered one of the main challenges sustainable brands are facing.’

What challenge/ problem did you identify at the start of your project?

‘The challenge I identified is related to my main field of interest and expertise: marketing communications. My concept provides a solution on how a luxury brand can overcome communication boundaries and inspire its customers to become more environmentally conscious and catalysts of industry- and society-wide changes.’

What have you found most inspiring about the award?

‘I was inspired by the positive and encouraging behavior of our mentors at both Kering and CSF, who supported us all along the journey, as well as the professionalism and dedication of fellow finalists who all provided an outstanding work. I would like to say a huge thank you for all the support we have been provided and wish best of luck to each person who participated in this amazing programme.’

The Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion is part of a five-year partnership launched in 2014 between Kering and Centre for Sustainable Fashion at LCF, UAL, to support sustainable practices and innovation in the fashion industry. The partnership is three-fold and also includes an annual lecture – The Kering Talk – and a co-developed Masters’ level curriculum on sustainable design.

Keep your eye on the blog to hear about each of the other finalists, and for the all important winner announcements in November. And you can find out more about the LCF x Kering partnership here.