Prada has just inked a 5-year loan worth €50 million with French banking group Crédit Agricole, making history as the first luxury brand to obtain one with sustainability-related conditions. The agreement allows for interest rates to be adjusted annually according to how successful the fashion house is in meeting key targets around the sustainability of its products and operations.
The loan focuses on three specific objectives. The first condition relates to the brand's physical stores, stipulating that a certain number of them must be certified gold or platinum by the green-building rating system Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which takes into account the design of a building, its management, and the amount of resources it consumes or waste it produces. The second requires Prada to increase the training hours of its employees, and the third reinforces the brand's pledge to phase out the use of virgin nylon by 2021, shifting instead to Econyl, a recyclable yarn upcycled from plastic waste.
This is the latest of a number of sustainable initiatives by the Italian house. Earlier this year, Prada announced that it was going fur-free, and also launched the Re-Nylon collection, consisting of bags made from the regenerated Econyl material. "This transaction demonstrates that sustainability is a key element for the development of the Prada Group, increasingly integrated into our strategy," commented Alessandra Cozzani, Prada's chief financial officer.