Prince Charles is gaining a reputation in the sustainable fashion industry. He has launched a sustainable fashion collection in a collaboration with luxury online retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter.
The collection marks the peak of an initiative called The Modern Artisan Project, which was established by Prince Charles last year in partnership with Yoox. The main intent of the initiative was to promote traditional craftsmanship in the UK.
All the profits procured from the collection YOOX NET-A-PORTER for The Prince’s Foundation of men’s and womenswear will go back into the Prince’s Foundation to help the charity develop and deliver training programmes that will help preserve traditional textile skills.
The partnership commenced when Prince Charles invited Federico Marchetti, Chairman and CEO of Yoox Net-a-Porter Group to visit Dumfries House. This was where Prince Charles Foundation had established a textile training project in high-end fashion and sewing skills. The pair decided to collaborate on a project to train artisans in sustainable practices alongside data insights, this would help them deliver a luxury collection to Yoox Net-a-Porter’s 4.3 million customers.
Six Italian design students at the Politecnico di Milano took charge of the collection, while the British students underwent training in mall batch productions skills at Dumfries House, the headquarters of The Prince’s Foundation. This allowed them to craft the majority of the collection by hand on the estate.
During this time at the estate, the artisans learnt advanced technical production skills such as industrial sewing, pattern drafting and quality control while also acquiring the skills to handle wool, cashmere and silk fabrics that ensured garment finishes meet the requirements of the luxury market. The knitwear was designed by the Italian artisans and manufactured at Johnstons of Elgin’s knitwear.
As far as Yoox was involved, the students were granted exclusive access to five years’ worth of Yoox Net-a-Porter data that ensured a long term knowledge preference with respect to shape, colour and fit, in order to be able to design a truly classic capsule wardrobe.
Prince Charles stated that he was enormously impressed by the efforts, the ideas and the vision shown by the artisans from the UK and Italy. He hopes that they take away a great deal of skill and understanding of sustainable approaches to design and manufacturing that they can apply to their own businesses or future careers. He added that the key was to rediscover the importance that nature plays, understand where natural materials come from and how they can be used in exciting and innovative ways.
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