There’s no question that fashion has an enormous human and ecological impact, one that has only grown more alarming with the rise of disposable fast fashion over the past two decades. Much of it has to do with the materials chosen to fabricate most garments as their manufacture and dyeing not only consume massive amounts of energy but nearly always pollute the local environment. Outwear stalwart Moncler is reverse-engineering its most beloved article––the puffer––using emerging, eco-friendly technology to create a jacket that brilliantly subverts those stubborn problems.
In an exclusive for WWD, the brand revealed the enormous amount of thought that went into the creation of this one piece. The unisex style comes in a single shade (classic navy) and eschews the average petroleum-based nylon shell for an alternative spun from plant-based fibers that, along with its similarly plant-based trims and lining, allow for a 30 percent reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to one using products of the fossil fuel industry.
But none of it would possible without the castor plant (the same one which gives us beans and oil). The fast-growing perennial shrub is ideal for this kind of project as it does not affect the food supply and it can grow in arid climates, making its water needs minimal. Reducing water consumption at every step of the manufacturing process is one of the industry’s most critical issues. A joint 2017 study by Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group found that, in 2015 alone, fashion used 79 billion cubic meters of water, enough to fill 32 million Olympic swimming pools.
How about the small details like the tags and labels? Those are cut primarily from sustainable cotton. The logo on the front pocket is woven from wool.
Still unsatisfied that it was doing enough, Moncler chose to partner with REDD+ when embarking on this project. The organization focuses its efforts on fighting deforestation, a major contributor to global warming and estimated to be responsible for roughly 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to Forest Carbon Partnership. Because of their collaboration, Moncler has essentially given the new jacket a carbon-neutral lifecycle.
The sustainable style retails for €1,300 (about $1,444) and is available in Moncler stores worldwide and on the brand’s website.