At the COP28 global climate conference in Dubai, the Solomeo-based fashion house Brunello Cucinelli reaffirmed its active commitment to a very important Project launched in some Himalayan areas in 2022 as the result of an agreement with the SMI Fashion Task Force founded by King Charles III of England.
It was an opportunity to update on the progress of this project inspired by Human Sustainability, a core value of the Solomeo-based company founded by the cashmere entrepreneur Brunello Cucinelli to foster the dignity of every living being, respect for Creation and a culture of balance between profit and giving back.
First and foremost, the underlying goal is to restore harmony between small local communities in some areas of the broad Himalayan territory and its extraordinary natural environment. Efforts are being made on regenerating degraded landscapes and at the same time recovering traditional craftsmanship and textile skills, an exceptional resource not only for that region, but for the history and sustainable future of mankind as a whole.
In practice, the Brunello Cucinelli Fashion House is working to support the local cashmere, cotton and silk economies, always keeping a close eye on the crucial issues of climate change and the risk of a progressive loss of biodiversity. To this end, degraded landscapes in the Western and Eastern Himalayas are being reclaimed, also thanks to the valuable partnership with Reforest Action and the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance.
Local forests are being restored in the Assam province - in the Eastern Himalayas - with multiple species of native trees planted in deforested areas in order to regenerate the soil and forest cover, while at the same time working on training local farmers in setting up agroforestry systems. In spring we will receive the first cotton harvests.
In the Ladakh region, which is located in the Western Himalayas, and in particular starting from the village of Kharnak (Hemis National Park), the Project is developing the value chain of one of the world's most valuable fibres, pashmina, by involving local communities: they have already started their first pashmina production under the principle of Human Sustainability and are being helped to better cope with the consequences of climate change through suitable daily farming practices.
Riccardo Stefanelli and Federico Marchetti
We are already processing the first small but meaningful batches of pashmina from the local farmers and cooperatives participating in the project, with which we intend to manufacture beautiful products.
The Brunello Cucinelli Fashion House reiterates its support for this beautiful initiative and, after proving the technical validity of the project, the next few years will focus on its scalability and on providing the cultural and health conditions for the people to continue living in the places where they were born.
Riccardo Stefanelli commented: "From the very first day we made this commitment, we were immensely honoured at the thought of contributing to such a noble Project. For us, collaborating with King Charles and the SMI Fashion Task Force is in itself an invaluable growth factor and it is particularly gratifying to detect such significant similarities in terms of Human Sustainability and respect for all forms of life on our wonderful planet. The Himalaya Regenerative Fashion Living Lab is a Project that makes us experience first-hand the beauty of a region and its communities; moreover, the significant progress that we have been able to achieve so far prompts us to look with optimism at the next steps we are going to take in this extraordinary path of Human Sustainability. We have shown that it is possible to grow food where it was no longer feasible, as well as to provide the economic conditions for women's and men's work to be fairly remunerated. Now we will try to show that it is possible to lay the foundations for a dignified life in places like these”.
Federico Marchetti commented: "It is a source of great pride for the Fashion Task Force of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, which I have the honour to chair, to share the extraordinary progress achieved with this project exactly one year after its first presentation at COP27. These significant and tangible results confirm that we are on the right track and spur us on to continue investing courageously for a new sustainable future, regenerating the natural resources of our planet and preserving the precious craftsmanship of local economies. I am very grateful to Brunello Cucinelli, who strongly believes in the project and in our Task Force as a tool to make this change possible together."