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Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion

About the Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion

The Kering Award for Sustainable Fashion was launched in 2014 as part of the five-year partnership between Kering and the London College of Fashion. Each academic year, two of Kering’s luxury fashion brands set a brief for final year BA and MA students to respond to, which focuses on specific and real-life industry challenges.

The Kering Award provides students with the opportunity to gain feedback and support from a variety of industry partners, and present to some of the most influential people in sustainable luxury. The Award is open to students from all disciplines within the college, and requires students to provide innovative, creative and achievable solutions to the project brief.

‘We will look to the next generation, to you, for new, inspired ideas and
solutions to embed sustainability in our products and throughout our
supply chains. Your skills and creativity in merging business, design and
sustainability will be essential to move the industry forward because
the business model of the future must be one that is sustainable.’
– Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO and Chairman of Kering
speaking at London College of Fashion, October 2014

The Award Process

Students submit their application during the Autumn Term, and a shortlist is selected in January.

Shortlisted students are invited to Lab Day in February, which gives them the opportunity to speak to representatives from Kering and the brands, and to gain a deeper understanding of the brand identities and their approaches to sustainability.

In March, six finalists are selected for each brand by a panel made of representatives from Kering, CSF and the brands. After the finalists are selected, the students undergo a period of mentoring from Kering, LCF and the brands, spanning several months, during which time they hone and develop their ideas further. They finalists are also invited to store visits, and given mentoring from other departments, including Kering and the brands’ HR, and LCF’s careers team.

In June, the finalists present their projects to a panel of judges from Kering, the brands and LCF at Kering’s London office. Two winners will be selected for each brand. o recognise innovation and vision for sustainability, one student from each brand will be selected to receive a cash prize of €10,000. To recognise rigour and employability for sustainability, one student from each brand will be selected to receive a three month paid internship.

The winners are announced at the annual Kering Talk, which takes place the following November.

The Brands

For the Kering Award 2017, we are excited to announce that we are working with Stella McCartney for the third year. We are also delighted to announce the Gucci have confirmed as the second partner brand.


Gucci aims to meet the needs of today’s business without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, in accordance with the goal stated by the World Commission on Environment and Development. Gucci is already bringing this vision alive through innovative eco-friendly products and a strong inclusive corporate culture. Gucci is working to strengthen its current commitment to be a progressive leader. This pathway involves the enhancement of key issues such as respect for human rights and employees, the environment and biodiversity, respect for stakeholders and the involvement of suppliers.

Gucci believes that the commitment to fighting against climate change is not only essential for safeguarding the planet, but is also essential to ensuring competitiveness. We have implemented a worldwide, eco-friendly programme designed to progressively reduce the company’s impact on the environment.

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney are a vegetarian company committed to operating a responsible and modern business. What this means:


We understand that it is our responsibility to do what we can to become a more sustainable company. We are responsible for the resources that we use and the impact that we have. We take responsibility for operating a business and maintaining a supply chain the respects the planet as well as the people and animals on it.


We think that being modern means considering the future, not just the future of design, but also the future of the planet. We are dedicated to helping change people’s perception of eco fashion. We think that sustainability can take the form of beautiful and modern clothing and accessories.

A Vegetarian Company

We are the world’s first and only vegetarian luxury brand. We do not think that any animal should give their life for the sake of fashion. We do not use and have never used leather, skins, feathers or fur in any of our products, collaborations or licensed products. This is a decision that we stand behind both ethically and environmentally.

Year One

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In the first year of the Award, we partnered with Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, two British brands that are approaching sustainability in very different but equally powerful ways. Three finalists were selected to work with each brand, and developed a variety of ideas, ranging from seaweed as a natural alternative to synthetics in fashion products, to using offcuts to create new luxury materials. They presented to a of Kering board directors, brand CEOs and designers, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the London College of Fashion and sustainability experts at Kering’s London offices.

One winner for each brand was chosen and awarded both the €10,000 prize as well as the three month internship within the brand.

The winner for Stella McCartney was Neliana Fuenmayor, who presented an idea for transparency as a tool for communication. She aimed to communicate the powerful stories behind the products as a means of informing and empowering the consumer. A designer by trade, Neliana has worked in various areas of the fashion industry, including launching her own womenswear brand. This experience channeled Neliana’s main focus towards transparency as a tool for communication.

Read more about Neliana’s project here.

The winner for Alexander McQueen was Ingrid Rautemberg, who focused on creating a bioplastic made from organic food or food waste that could be used in accessories, packaging or waterproofing for textiles.

Overwhelmed by the immense pollution of our oceans caused by an over-reliance on plastics, fashion designer and computer scientist Ingrid focused her research on alternatives to this modern ecological disaster. This led her to explore her own bioplastic solutions using everyday domestic ingredients.

Read more about Ingrid’s project here.

Year Two

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In the second year of the Award, our partners were Stella McCartney and Italian luxury suit company Brioni. Five finalists were selected for each brand, and underwent rigorous mentoring from the brands, LCF careers team and sustainability experts. They were also invited to exclusive store visits at each of the brands’ London stores, as well as a meeting with Kering’s HR department. They presented their final projects in June 2016 to a panel that included Professor Frances Corner, Pro-Vice Chancellor, London College of Fashion; Dilys Williams, director of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion; Jose Tuenissen, dean of Fashion Design Technology at the London College of Fashion; Marie-Claire Daveu, Chief Sustainability Officer, Kering; Lionel Vermiel, Director of Fashion and Luxury Intelligence; Kering, Valeria Zara, Talent Management Director, Kering; Eva von Alvensleben, Sustainability Strategy Manager, Kering; Edoardo Vittucci, EMEA President, Brioni; Lucia Stella, Sustainability Specialist, Brioni; Veronica Barbieri, HR Development Manager, Brioni; Carolina Brodasca, Collection Director, Stella McCartney; Rosie Wake Walker, Studio Manager, Stella McCartney; and Claire Bergkamp, Head of Sustainability and Ethical Trade, Stella McCartney. 

Two winners were chosen for Brioni, with one awarded €10,000 for an innovative and original idea, and the other a three-month internship for rigorous sustainability research and demonstrated employability.

Agraj Jain was awarded the €10,000 prize for his project around peace silk, which drew on his religious background as a Jainist and his belief to not harm any living being. Peace silk is a cruelty free alternative to normal silk, which features heavily in the lining of Brioni’s suits, as well as in their shirts and ties.

Read more about Agraj’s project here.

Elise Comrie won the three month internship, which recognised her rigorous research and employability for sustainability. Her project, ‘Tailored Tobacco’ drew on both the heritage of Brioni as a luxury menswear company, and her own background, growing up in the Canadian Great Plains. She proposed a suit jacket dyed with tobacco, highlighting the positive properties of the tobacco plant.

Read more about Elise’s project here.

Three winners were chosen for Stella McCartney. Irene-Marie Seelig was awarded the €10,000 prize for her project, which proposed amadou mushroom skin as a vegetarian leather alternative. Irene tested the durability and sustainability statistics of the mushroom leather, as well as demonstrated its properties in a pair of shoes.

Read more about Irene’s project here.

Ana Pasalic was also awarded a three month internship for her research into new material development and innovative dyeing techniques that could be used to improve the material sustainability of many Stella McCartney products.

Read more about Ana’s project here.

Iciar Bravo Tomboly was awarded a three month internship at Stella McCartney for her project, ‘Social Ecology,’ which aimed at increasing environmental sustainability through ensuring the wellbeing, health and happiness of workers in the supply chain. Iciar worked with psychologists to develop a test that would determine how satisfied workers were, both at work and at home.

Read more about Iciar’s project here.

Year Three

The third edition of the Kering Award is open to all final year BA and MA students across the London College of Fashion. If you are a LCF student and would like more information on the briefs and how to apply, please visit the Kering Award 2017 workflow page.