Introducing the Koba Coat

Stella McCartney’s Koba Coat

Stella McCartney’s Koba Coat

Figure 1: Supermodel Natalia Vodianova pictured in Paris wearing a pioneer and innovative faux fur coat called Koba coat by Stella Mccartney (Photo by Getty Images, 2019).

The photo above shows supermodel Natalia Vodianova sporting Stella McCartney’s new eco-faux fur coat called Koba coat. The garment is a knee-length black outerwear that has faux fur accents. Composed of a plant-based vegetarian fur, the fabric called Koba is a mixture of corn and used polyester. The brand also declares that the fabric carries a reduced carbon footprint compare to other synthetic fur (Allaire, 2019). The London-based brand proposes to release the said coat in 2020. Koba, is made in partnership with: Ecopel, a faux fur builder that is also the brand’s vendor; and Dupoint, a chemical group. The coat was not part of any collection but the model debuted the pioneer coat in the front row in Paris in the brand’s Spring 2020 runway presentation. The model is photographed in Paris outside the show’s location (Cernansky, 2019). For those seeking fashion dissertation help, encountering the complex landscape of the fashion area could prove to be an enriching journey.

This coat proves that Stella McCartney is never stopping on integrating sustainability on her brand and pushing the boundary on inventing sustainable practices and techniques. This invention falls on one of the forms of sustainability, which is: products should be made in a manner that is friendly to the environment. The fabric looks and feels very luxurious and expensive which is a good thing in sustainability as there is a perception of sustainable products to be cheap looking and handmade. This sustainable action is very crucial as they are branding sustainable garment as luxury as well. On a marketing point-of-view, it is a genius idea to first, have a very well-known supermodel wore the coat that makes the coat more luxurious looking. The Parisienne styling on the model is also pure delight because it makes the coat more enticing. The coat is paired with a mid-calf black boots, a large gold pair of earrings and oversized transparent sunglasses. The model has an updo hairstyle and a minimal and chic makeup. The whole look screams rich and glamour something you will not get often on sustainable items. For sustainability-minded fashionista, this will be a best seller if it really produces less carbon footprint than other faux-fur coats. However, it would be more appealing if the brand makes this in different colours as they initially suggested that it will only come on one colour.

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In the first line of analysis, there is a critical focus on the context and concept as far as sustainability and the fashion industry are put into consideration. In this case, in the angle of sustainability, the first focus is the concept before unleashing the context. In the face of the impact of fashion, there is a critical focus on whether the fashionista is trying to bridge on global awareness regarding sustainability in the industry. In the view of the concept, it is more relevant to narrow down to narrow down to the subject, what the event was all about and what was the them behind it. The persons in question include Stella McCartney and Natalia Vodianova believed to have debuted in the New Spring 2020 Collection (Allaire 2019). The message in the event narrowed down to the challenging feat aligned to the environmental implications while putting on the faux fur. According to the claims fronted by the supermodel, the new line-up seemingly sets its foot in eco-friendly material preferred against the plastics which are thought to be harmful to the environment.

In the context of unleashing the concept, more questions are fronted in terms of timeliness, relevance and coherence as well as the intended use of science and technology in covering the social and environmental challenges. In this context, the supermodel appears at the time when UN reports indicate that there are global warming related natural disasters that are looming and yet to turn detrimental. This is timely and relevant as Greta Thunberg puts it as far as the need to activate the entire generation to play a role in the climate catastrophe is put into consideration (Gurova and Morozova 2018). However, it is not clear whether the supermodel would wish to address the glamour needed in the fashionware or the message behind eco-friendliness as established before the start of the event. In terms of the context,

there is the ultimate notion of the changing narrative around sustainability that faces the business practices as far as sustainability is the critical area of focus. The keen test is placed on the attitude and awareness of the consumers and citizens while fostering the intent of the supermodel.

Lastly, the course of the analysis looks at the line of action. This questions what has been done and whether it can be aligned to the message established before. In the course of unleashing the line of action, the keynote areas include fibre and processing, which points at the strong positive impacts of the same actions on the environment in the context. It has currently been debated that fibre as well as processing innovation has a positive impact but it turns less effective when it comes to the effect on the working conditions as well as poverty. Despite the debate, Vodianova is thought to have unveiled the new Koba coat that featured the plant-based vegetarian fur that takes a blend of corn as well as the recycled polyester. This counts as the immediate line of action in the course of addressing sustainability in the fashion industry. However, is this line of action in line with the concept? The action is said to claim a lower carbon footprint compared to other faux furs. This is also an eco-friendly piece expressed in a more Parisienne way.

Zara’s Clothes Collecting/Recycling Program

Zara’s Clothes Collecting/Recycling Program

Figure 3: A container in an unknown Zara shop that collects customer’s unwanted clothes under Zara’s Clothes Collecting/Recycling Program. Photo by Zara

The photo shows an unknown Zara store that has a white container used under the “Clothes Collecting/Recycling Initiative” released by the company. The container is at the front of the store. This is Zara’s another action regarding sustainability. According to their website, consumers have now an option to give back their unwanted clothes to Zara to provide them a new life. Customers have two options to do it: they can go to the store and put their clothes to any of the boxes shown above, or collect from home option in Central London that means that once a buyer purchase something from their website, they are given and option to demand a free collection of garments they want to donate. Also according the their website, the donated clothing are then sorted to be recycled, convert into different fabrication, or given to organizations such us Red Cross, Reddress, Caritas, Salvation Army, Eden. Relais, Tocev, Casa dela Amistad, Fabric Republic and Obywatelska Fundacja Pomocy Dzieciom. A few of the garments are sold to fun some collective programs of the said institution. In Australia, a representative of the brand mentioned that they have gathered 12,229 tonnes of garments, shoes and different accessories in 2017 (Singer, 2019).

This collecting/recycling program of Zara is another move for them to show that they want to combat the negative effects of their brand socially and environmentally. This action falls under the form of sustainability: Repair, Redesign & Upcycle. This is the part of sustainability where in when the product is already deemed to be undesirable for the user, they can return them to collection points where it can be reused in manufacture of other textile and recycle. This is a very good attempt of the company because as a fast fashion brand this is one of their main contributions to the deterioration of our environment, which is, overproduction of very cheap clothing that produces so much waste (Inditext 2019). The two options to receive the product in store and at home collection are very helpful as it makes it very convenient for the customers. The container on the picture is actually well placed at the front of the store so that is the first thing that any customer sees and they will not miss it. The colour of white is also good because it is placed around colourful products so it is hard to miss. However, still this does not completely resolve the issue of their overproduction, which is the main issue.

In the course of gaining insights regarding what Zara does with the recycling program, analysis of the sustainable course focuses on the theme, concepts, and context and the line of action taken by Zara Fashion. In the event of exploring the recycling program, the analysis is attracted to the course of reducing waste through reuse and rewear, which can also be perceived as a formidable course of addressing sustainability. Zara already believes that reusing items without necessarily making significant changes is already the greenest option that can be pursued in the fashion industry (Inditext 2019). This is more significant in addressing the sustainable course but with questions directed at the useful lifecycle of the clothes. Such questions again turn the analysis into the concept and the context that narrow down to the closed loop sustainability. It is worth noting that achieving 100% of the closed loop sustainability is one of the toughest tasks every industry has faced. The fashion industry is largely regarded as the latest industry to have joined the loop with little contribution falling into the scale. In the course of focusing on the Zara’s context, there is much more to look into the starting actions that are putting the brand in line with achieving its mission. In line with concepts and context, more focus is given to who is the brand teaming up with and what has happened so far (Inditext 2019). The thought of the theme bin and the entire recycling program has forced the brand to team up with the recycling technologists, recycling companies, non-profit organizations, and textile manufacturers while aiding precautionary measures that would impede processes that direct waste into landfills.

What has been done so far? Currently, Zara has opened channels that allow employees and customers to drop off used accessories, footwear, and even clothing at necessary collection points in over 1382 stores across the 24 markets, offices and cities. The brand equally anticipates that in the year 2020, all the stores around the world will have the most active collection scheme. This count as some of the efforts Zara has put in place to ensure that the contextual and conceptual gap of sustainability in the fashion industry is being addressed in a more candid way. Does this count? In essence, the recycling program seems to be at its pupillage stage with the company trying to share the concept with other key players noted in its supply chain (Inditext 2019). The most notable players that Zara has teamed up with in sharing the concept include CEPF, Oxfam, Caritas and Red Cross among others. Unlike other fashion brands that take advantage of technology in the process, the collection points established by the team have enhanced provision of jobs to the poor as indicated by the actions taken by Caritas. Apparently, Zara expects more partnerships before the year 2020 (Conlon 2019). Lastly, it is more advantageous to focus on the line of actions, and whether they carry any meaning in addressing the sustainability goals or not. Zara has already set the target of attaining the zero waste to the landfills. This has been managed via the cardboard boxes that flow between the distribution hubs and the stores.

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References

  • Allaire, C., 2019. Natalia Vodianova Steps Out in Stella McCartney’s New Sustainable Faux Fur. Available at https://www.vogue.com/vogueworld/article/natalia-vodianova-stella-mccartney-sustainable-faux-fur-coat
  • Gurova, O. and Morozova, D., 2018. A critical approach to sustainable fashion: Practices of clothing designers in the Kallio neighborhood of Helsinki. Journal of Consumer Culture, 18(3), pp.397-413.

    Inditext., 2019. Collect, reuse, recycle. Available at https://www.inditex.com/our-commitment-to-the-environment/closing-the-loop/collect-reuse-recycle

  • https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2019/jul/17/zara-collections-to-be-made-from-100-sustainable-fabrics
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