Creating a Better Future For People And Planet
We feel so honoured to introduce you to one of our like-minded stockists Holt Renfrew. Alexandra Weston created H-Project in 2013 as a division of Holt Renfrew to connect consumers, causes and communities to inspire a new generation of purposeful luxury and drive positive change in the world.
Holt Renfrew shares everything you need to know about H-Project and the incredible commitments they have made and are making to be true catalysts for change in the fashion industry. We hope you are just as delighted as we were to learn more about Holt Renfrew and H-Project.
Firstly, we would love to know what led to the creation of H-Project?
H Project was created by Alexandra Weston in 2013, to ensure that Holt Renfrew had a dedicated department in all stores and online for sustainable and socially responsible products. Since then, Holt Renfrew has been consciously curating an assortment of products that are beautifully designed, passionately purposeful, and have unique stories—this curation is H Project. H Project is also a platform for larger awareness and charitable campaigns, where we support causes that are meaningful to you and to the global community. H Project’s ethos has expanded with an edit of sustainable and socially responsible product available store-wide.
Since beginning the H Project in 2013, how have your views on sustainability changed? and how has this impacted future business decisions?
Our focus on Sustainability began with the creation of the H Project department but has since grown into a brand pillar for Holt Renfrew. Holt Renfrew recently announced a series of ambitious sustainability initiatives that reinforce our commitment to create a better future for people and planet. This announcement placed sustainability at the heart of Holt Renfrew. While recognizing there is further to go, Holts is committed to reinventing retail for a better future, alongside the global Selfridges Group of stores. To begin with, we're proud to be the first and only Canadian retailer to set approved science-based targets for carbon reduction. Underpinning these targets is a commitment to exit all animal fur, exotic skins and plastic glitter from all beauty products by the end of the year and to ensure some of the most environmentally impactful materials across the business come from certified sustainable sources.
We are very interested in your current investment in a zero-waste strategy and goal to improve diversion rates by 85%, we would love to know how you aim to achieve this by 2024?
As part of our zero-waste strategy, we have set a goal to improve waste diversion rates by 85% by 2024. To achieve this, we are focusing our efforts on diverting the following waste materials from landfill - corrugated cardboard, mixed plastics, mixed recyclables and organics. We continue to track performance in each of our stores, as well as, train employees on our waste diversion processes and procedures, while encouraging recycling and reuse.
Your sustainability commitments are inspiring! As the first Canadian retailer to set approved science based targets for Carbon Reduction we would love to know more about your carbon reduction methods?
We are thrilled to be the first retailer in Canada to set approved science based targets in the retailing sector and we are proud to state that our targets are consistent with greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions required to keep global warming to 1.5°C. Our climate action strategy focuses on reducing GHG emissions in our operations and supply chain. We are also engaging our suppliers to set science based targets and bringing them on this journey alongside with us. The time to act is now. We feel strongly that by working together towards a common purpose will help ignite the change we so desperately need to protect our planet.
Our science based targets are as follows:
- 65% reduction in absolute Scope 1& 2 GHG emissions by 2030 from a 2019 base year.
- 28% reduction in absolute Scope 3 GHG emissions by 2030 from a 2019 base year.
- Supplier Engagement Target – we commit to 67% of our suppliers from our purchased goods and services and upstream and downstream transportation will have science-based targets by 2025.
As a committed business whose aim is to create a better future for people and the planet, where would you like to see H Project by 2030?
By 2030, we would like sustainability to be the norm. In market we ask questions, push for certifications and encourage brands to take it one step further. Customer awareness around the fashion industry and its effects on the planet have grown significantly and customers are demanding improvement. If the industry were to match their enthusiasm, we could then shift our focus to environmental and social innovation and celebrating artisanal craft from around the world.
We are very proud to be one of the brands stocked within H Project. As a brand we are continually striving to do better and adapt to research and innovations within the sustainability and slow fashion sector, what are you looking for from brands to help support your future goals?
Within H Project, we take it one step further, focusing on brands that put people and planet first; brands that have sustainability and artisanal practices built into their core identity. When researching brands, we are actively looking for founders/designers that live and breathe sustainability. They are visiting their factories, cooperatives and artisanal groups
regularly. Another useful tool is third party certifications, that reaffirm company commitments.
Have you noticed a shift in consumer behaviour towards sustainability? If so, do you have any insight into what customers value most from brands?
Leading up to and even more so through the pandemic, we are experiencing a more engaged and informed customer - who are mindful of sustainability, prefer to shop local, and who demand greater transparency. Thankfully now more than ever, consumers are paying a lot of attention to brands; purpose and contribution to society. The pandemic has been a time of reflection for a lot of people and businesses. We refreshed our brand mission to align with this and to be able to move forward as a brand in a meaningful and authentic way. Holt Renfrew exists to empower self-expression and ignite positive change, this is our guiding star and is reflective of the sentiment of our customers, our teams and our communities.
In a world where fast fashion and overconsumption rates are incredibly high, where do you see the future of fashion going and what changes do you think are needed to achieve climate justice and conscious consumerism in the long term?
There’s no doubt that fast fashion has changed the way people shop. What people must keep in mind is that the price of those products often doesn’t reflect the resources used, or the labour of the maker. When we don’t shoulder those costs, as the customer, someone else along the way does. In H Project prices are set ensuring the maker receives fair pay, or that there was less harm done through the life cycle of that product. We have an accessible and wide range of price points in H Project. We tell the story behind each product in the hopes of educating the customer so they can make purchasing decisions that are in line with their values.
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