Kiabi bets on responsible textiles

“We can’t go on like this anymore!” As proclaimed by Alexandre Bompard, the CEO of Carrefour, who defends food quality for all with his Act for good program, Nicolas Hennon, the boss of Kiabi, wants to get out of the price war from above. Monday, June 24, the boss of the textile brand presented his business project, Kiabi Human, with the objective of a 100% eco-designed offer by 2030. The bar is high for the clothing chain which sells 300 annually. million items at low prices for 1.9 billion euros. In a few days, it will publish its first social and environmental report. And the list of its subcontractors around the world is already available on its site, with their name and address.

The players are mobilizing around responsible fashion

“The world has changed. Our customers and employees expect something else from us,” says the director of the company controlled by the Mulliez family. “We are trying to reduce our carbon footprint everywhere, from production to sale, and even in the end. of life with recycling. ” The Danish television report showing how H&M destroys 12 tonnes of unsold clothing per year has struck a chord. In France, the President of the Republic instructed François-Henri Pinault, on May 15, to mobilize fashion players by the summer and collectively define commitments to reduce their environmental impact. Then the Prime Minister asked, on June 4, the sector to encourage donations and the recycling of unsold items. And other measures are expected in July as part of the circular economy bill to regulate the practices of the sector.

A used clothing collection and a second-hand clothing site

Without delay, Kiabi launched an online questionnaire this fall to interview its customers. “In 3 days, we received 32,000 responses, says Cyril Olivier, head of digital. It proves that the subject is accelerating.” Consumers are already encouraged to wash their clothes at a temperature of 30 degrees on the labels. “Internally, the sixty in-house stylists have started to design jeans with laser wash and without chemicals,” explains Béatrice Héricourt, director of collections. And the group’s logistics plan has been revised to save the equivalent of 45,000 km of truck transport per year. Likewise, collections are organized to encourage customers to bring their used clothes back to stores. “Since the start of the year, we have already collected 38 tonnes, the equivalent of 2018,” says Bruno Resseguier, logistics director. They are redistributed to charities like Le Relais.

Commitments to retain customers worried about the planet

This fall, Kiabi will even launch a second hand clothing resale site. Thanks to this civic engagement, the company hopes to gain even more loyalty from its consumers. It is already the first French brand for babies and children. But its like-for-like sales are no longer increasing. “We want to make fashion at a low price while respecting ourselves and the planet,” says Nicolas Hennon. However, the Kiabi Human program does not include the remuneration of workers in industrial subcontractors. “It’s far from obvious, admits the leader. Too early too.” However, the subject is rising. Recently, Fashion3, which brings together other Mulliez fashion brands, revealed that it was working on a T-shirt factory project in the Lille metropolis as part of the overhaul of its business model and its approach. zero waste ‘. With the desire to make his business a model.