I think we’d all agree, perhaps with the possible exception of one or possibly two world leaders, that the general consensus is that now is the time to take urgent action to protect our planet.

It’s possibly as a result of that – or that and a combination of that and some canny marketing which is no bad thing – that Prada has just announced it has signed a deal worth €50m (£43m) with financial services company Crédit Agricole Group in an effort to champion sustainability.

The five-year sustainability loan, which is reportedly the first of its kind in the luxury industry, allows for the Italian fashion house to alter its interest rates on an annual basis if it achieves certain eco-friendly objectives.

These three objectives, as chosen by Crédit Agricole, are

  • if Prada employees train or work for a certain amount of time
  • if the fashion house uses an adequate quantity of sustainable nylon substitute Re-Nylon, and
  • if a certain number of Prada stores receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold or platinum certifications.

That’s a lot – well three – ‘ifs’ but nevertheless, Alessandra Cozzani, chief financial officer at Prada, explained the significance of the sustainability loan.

“This transaction demonstrates that sustainability is a key element for the development of the Prada Group, increasingly integrated into our strategy,” Cozzani said in a statement sent to Vogue Business.

While Prada’s loan is a most definitely a novel deal within the luxury industry, according to data accumulated by news and analysis service Environmental Finance, sustainability-linked loans in other sectors have been gaining traction in recent years.

The firm states that the sustainability-linked loan market increased in value from $5bn (£3.88bn) in 2017 to $40bn (£31.05bn) the following year.

So. If you do go buy Prada, you can do so with a clear-ish conscience.


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