Representing the creative future

A new approach towards sustainability: IFM x Kering Certificate

The Paris-based fashion school Institute Français de la Mode is bonding students with key industry players. Discover all the projects!

In fashion, we twirl in the most gleaming gowns; we dance at the loudest parties. But we are also dancing on the fallen fruit. We are dancing on a battleground of capitalism versus the planet. We are dancing on the back of the climate crisis. The clock is ticking, no matter how beautiful the creations are, we won’t be able to buy the time we need back with them. Sustainability, the magical s-word, is being presented as the glorious solution. But how can you transform an entire industry whose backbone is built on the opposite of sustainability? This question was proposed to 35 students at the Institut Français de la Mode recently. Those 35 forces are young, and they are willing to change the system in collaboration with Kering. To receive the certificate, the students collaborate with a brand, and the bandwidth is ranging from Chloé to Isabel Marant. The certificate bridges borders between degrees, industries and the fashion industry.

On the day of their presentations, the students were being listened to by one of the biggest players in the luxury markets- but the true question is, why are such projects vital for fashion education these days?

“We are destroying the planet, but not only the planet. We are destroying people’s lives and so many other things, we are not even aware of it,” says Clémence Blanc, an MA Luxury Fashion Management student at IFM, working on a project in collaboration with the brand Isabel Marant. “Sustainability means the future- it means something important to all of us. On every single level. Originally, I wanted to work for the government because I was and still am deeply concerned about the way this topic is handled through public policies and laws,” she continues. In their project, they developed a 360-degree sustainable communication approach for the brand. “This project aims to add sustainability. When it comes to communication, you need to have the bouillon (soup base in French) first before you can serve the soup. Isabel Marant’s sustainability certificates were our base, our buillon. We added the right spices to the base with our strategy,” says Claudia Chmielowiec, another member of the Isabel Marant project team.

Until today, youth is fetishized yet not taken seriously by the big brands from any industry. Working with Isabel Marant, and most importantly being listened to make the experience worthwhile, says the student team. Samia Larouiche, an MBA global fashion management student and WA (off) podcast founder worked on a project in collaboration with Balenciaga: “The Balenciaga teams were very committed and available for this project and the exchanges were very rich. The limits of this industry can be no longer ignored by players: brands, luxury houses, government, NGO, media consumers, citizens,” she adds.

What makes participation in these projects worthwhile for students? Is it the brand approval on the CV, the learning experience or something else?

“Those past six months working on this project were really tough,” says Olivia Richard, another member of the Balenciaga student team. “We worked day and night on it… but to know that this is currently being considered by Balenciaga is the most rewarding price of them all,” she says. “I gained a lot of confidence. I had to defend my project, and when it comes to sustainability, it’s something you really have to fight for. It was really empowering,” says Clémence. Dancing in the storm of sustainability is not as easy as dancing in the storm of capitalism it seems. “It takes a lot of acceptance and tolerance- for the fact that we as students don’t know everything, but we can do our best to learn,” Claudia explains. Her team member Clémence states that the project has taught her to believe in the power of working as a team. Even if it gets difficult, it is worth it all the way.

The planet is burning, according to Camille Herry, who participated in the project with Chloé, our time might be running out in eight years. There is no tomorrow, in fashion we need to act now. Projects like this certificate might not be the ultimate solution to the bigger picture, but it builds bridges where sky-high borders used to dominate the landscape. And maybe this newfound bond between the old and the new to create a new tomorrow is what pushes fashion education in the right direction.


Sustainability in the customer journey with Balenciaga

Yeonatan Shlomo Fisher, MA Fashion Design / Samia Larouiche, Executive MBA / Olivia Richard, MSc Luxury

Luxury brands can fuel positive change, having an honest and robust approach when presenting sustainable products. To embrace the challenges of a house cultivating the strength of difference, where Responsibility is a duty, the team conducted scientific research, including academic literature to infuse sustainability and purpose into Balenciaga’s customer journey, in accordance with their unique voice.


Circularity with Chloé

Johnathan Guo, MSc Luxury / Camille Herry, Executive MBA / Claudia Lee, MSc Luxury / Ana Paula Tenorio, MSc Luxury

In 2021, Chloé set a milestone in the fashion industry by becoming the first luxury brand to achieve B-Corp certification. The brand has comprehensively integrated sustainability and social responsibility into its universe. To add to this, Chloé is now working with IFM to develop its circularity strategy through the development of a dedicated rental and resale platform.


Circle upcycled capsules

Louise Deshayes, MS Management / Léna Moreau, MSc Luxury / Anabela de Oliveira, MA Accessory Design / Olivia Philibert, MA Fashion Design

With Circle, a pioneer in the creation of performance responsible sportswear, the team chose to upcycle, re-think, re-use and re-value unwanted items into something better. The project also involved the designers of the social fashion school Casa 93. They created sportswear capsule collections that bring waste and deadstock back to life.


How to communicate sustainability ? Isabel Marant Nova experimentation

Clémence Blanc, MS Management / Claudia Chmielowiec, MSc Luxury / Sophianne Morrissey, MSc Luxury / Célia Pezareix, MA Accessory Design

How do you communicate sustainability when your brand wasn’t built on it?
Based on their work with Isabel Marant, the team established an innovative methodology, roadmapping four steps to help brands answer this question.


Masters of Good – Better Fashion Report

Magda Lundblad, MSc Luxury / Bertille Ottin-Pecchio, MS Management / Camille Pouget, MSc Luxury

What is wrong with the fashion industry? Who are the people leading the way to actually make it better? And how can consumers participate in this movement? The better fashion report is a collaborative work between IFM and Masters of Good that aims at uncovering all the public needs to know about the industry’s current problems and solutions. They selected the most relevant data and interviewed experts from around the world: entrepreneurs, designers, professors, influencers, consultants and NGOs – some of the many faces of better fashion, to share their stories and points of views with the general audience.


Messika – Sustainable Packaging

Amélie Gonnet, MA Accessory Design / Alice Gorges, MS Management / Elena Menegaldo, Executive MBA

Maison Messika, the jewelry maison that enhances the woman femininity through its diamond creations missioned the team to work on transforming their most used jewelry packaging and make it sustainable. The project aims to reduce the number of materials to the minimum, to make responsible sourcing and use traceable components. They also imagined new sources of light to intensify the brilliance of the stones that would be sustainable and easily recyclable.


Reprise NGO

Philippe Schuster, MSc Luxury / Isabella Aparicio de Pinho, MSc Luxury

Reprise is an NGO that was developed to unite a community of refugees and creatives with the common goal to upcycle textile waste. Thanks to the technical skills of the refugees, they are able to produce sustainable products while allowing them to further develop their talents. The team worked on creating a business plan for Reprise as well as development plans such as fundraising campaigns, networking, events, social media, etc. Reprise is now a professional fashion organization with a clear vision for the future and a purpose for the refugees.


Sustainable Fashion Web-series

Garance Bard, MSc Luxury / Claire Bertail, BA Fashion Design / Brooke Druen, BA Fashion Design / Pooja Ramprabhu, MSc Luxury

Sustainability should be a central focus when discussing the modern fashion scene and this begins with forging a strong narrative of change. The team worked with Paris Good Fashion to create a web-series that will follow the lives of students
of Institut Français de la Mode in an efficient and creatively conceptualized way to raise awareness about topics in sustainable fashion such as awakening environmental altruism and activism, upcycling, greenwashing, labor safety crisis, fast fashion, etc.


Zero plastic Yoga Legging

Laura Correa, MSc Luxury / Salomé Bodin, MA Knitwear Design / Carla Bore, MA Fashion Design / Charlotte Muller, Executive MBA

Sports are part of having a better living, but technical garments fail on contributing to it. They are usually made of petroleum-based materials such as lycra, elastane, polyamide nylon and polyester, which generate nano plastics when washed. The team conducted research about one of the main sportswear products, the legging, in order to decrease its impact on the environment.