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Saint Laurent Launches Sustainability-Focused Couture Training Program

The label is partnering with two French schools to nurture up-and-coming talent.
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Luxury conglomerate Kering has declared its intent to make sustainability a core tenet of how it does business on more than one occasion. Now Kering-owned label Saint Laurent is showing how it plans to participate in its parent company's goal, according to WWD. Saint Laurent just announced the launch of a sustainability-focused couture training program in partnership with two French schools, the Institut Français de la Mode and the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

The program will consist of two parts: an internship component at Saint Laurent's headquarters in which students will focus on "craft and creativity" in an experiential format, and classes taken through the participating schools that will last 25 days. At the end of the six-month program in March 2018, students will present a "special project" to Saint Laurent staff members and school faculty. Both the experiential aspect of the internship and the content of the coursework will focus on innovation and sustainability.

According to president and CEO of Saint Laurent Francesca Bellettini, one of the most exciting parts of the program is being able to invest in the next generation of fashion innovators.

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"Preserving our heritage while evolving and being very relevant in our epoch is a pillar of our strategy, and investing in talents is an imperative condition to build on our success even further," she told WWD. "I am very proud of this partnership with such renowned and prestigious institutions as the IFM and ECSCP, which will greatly contribute to the implementation of our strategy."

The move will also support Kering's sustainability growth goals, which the conglomerate hopes to execute by investing in more sustainable fabrics and innovation in new materials and technologies. 

"We need to use sustainable development to create something and provoke new business opportunities," chief sustainability officer Marie-Claire Daveu said to WWD in January when Kering first unveiled its sustainability goals for 2025. "Innovation is an indispensable driver."

Applications for the program are currently available through the participating schools.

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