net-a-porter’s-libby-page-on-net-sustain-and-sustainability-today

In August, Net-A-Porter launched its “A Considered Life” partnership with Capella Singapore and The MeshMinds Foundation.

This collaboration champions sustainability and the e-commerce site’s edit of eco-friendly fashion and beauty brands. The month-long experience combines a staycation with interactive, conscious workshops ranging from crafts to gardening, and features an augmented reality exhibition inspired by Net Sustain – all from the luxurious, and lush grounds of Capella Singapore.

Net-A-Porter has also just unveiled this year’s designers under its annual Vanguard programme, and these include names under Net Sustain. We speak to Senior Market Editor, Libby Page, on the collaboration and how the site’s sustainability space has taken off since its launch three years ago.

What informed the decision of partnering with Capella Singapore?
As we aim to enable customers to make informed and conscious choices through our Net Sustain edit, the partnership with Capella Singapore is the perfect continuation of this initiative. The hotel, seeks to deliver guests with a clean, safe and healthy environment, their efforts include preserving energy, reducing electricity, gas and water usage. They take a holistic view on sustainability; their initiatives and commitment to environmental excellence goes hand in hand with our Net Sustain initiative.

What is the biggest takeaway for guests?
We hope that through the partnership with Capella Singapore, our activities can inspire guests to consider how they can make conscious choices, how these choices can be relevant to the way they shop and can be incorporated into their lifestyles.

We understand that there is no one size fits all approach to sustainability; our goal here is to catalyse positive change by giving our customers the opportunity to review their shopping habits, in order to make more conscious choices, from reducing their carbon footprint to shopping for NET SUSTAIN fashion brands.

What can guests of the staycation look forward to?
Guests who are staying at Capella for the month of September receive Net-A-Porter store credit and a Net Sustain beauty set to enjoy.

Furthermore, the “Please Insert Women” AR.T Exhibition in collaboration with the Meshminds Foundation, is on display at the Tanah Merah 1 venue (foyer outside Cassia) until 30 September. Working with four female local artists, nine original artworks with AR face effects have been created and inspired by Net Sustain’s nine attributes.

As part of the “A considered life” partnership, there will also be three workshops available for guests to enjoy – Edible Gardens City, an interactive session on the farm-to-table experience (to align with our locally made attribute), Ayer Ayer and Green Nudge – an upcycling workshop using plastic pellets and cre-creating them into molds (to align with our Design for Circularity attribute), and Kueh Pie Tee – where customers get the chance to create the Peranakan delight using local ingredients (as part of our locally made attribute).

What is next for Net Sustain?
Net Sustain is crucial to how we see our wider buy for Net-A-Porter developing in the long term. We want to ensure we’re steadily increasing the number of brands rated as sustainable into our Net Sustain assortment each year. We’re also looking into long term re-commerce strategies and exploring solutions that work best for both our customers and the planet.

What impact has Net Sustain made since its inception?
Since its launch in 2019, our Net Sustain edit has steadily increased by nearly 500 per cent, from 26 brands to 153 as of July 2021. We have introduced new fashion brands including the likes of CAES, Sindiso Khumalo, Deiji Studios, Joslin, Abysse, Ioannes, as well as cult beauty brands such as Augustinus Bader, La Bouche Rouge and more.

We’ve also recently introduced a ninth Net Sustain attribute, “Designed for Circularity”, which champions brands that help facilitate a shift in behaviour away from throwaway culture, and that focus on solutions that promote product longevity.

Additionally, we’re piloting Digital ID, an enabler of post-purchase services. Embedded with a unique ID (and in partnership with EON, leading CircularIDTM), customers can scan their item to access initial content and services, providing them with inspiration on ways to style the item, as well as care instructions on how they can treasure it for years to come.

Name some of the most exciting brands available on Net Sustain.
Conner Ives. His innovation in sustainability through upcycling mixed with his incredible use of print and colour is exactly what we are looking for in an emerging designer. Lukhanyo Mdingi has such a unique approach to design and draws inspiration from his home country. Falling under our craft and community attribute, his woven technique is truly beautiful, and has an elevated appeal to it, with unique patterns and palettes.

What are some game-changing pieces on Net Sustain, or ones to look out for this season?
This season, we are also championing new brands to the edit that are using pre-loved garments to create new collections. We are highlighting these brands’ efforts under our new attribute; Designed for Circularity. This attribute champions brands that help facilitate a shift in behavior away from throwaway culture by focusing on solutions that promote product longevity. Championing this trend, Connor Ives and Rave Review are using recycled fabrics and bringing new life into pre-loved items.

Share with us about how the Singapore market shops on Net Sustain.
Our customers in Singapore have been increasingly shopping with sustainability in mind. In terms of style, they look for bold prints and structured pieces.

Some of their favourite ready-to-wear brands include Veja, Castañer, Ninety Percent and Faithfull the Brand, whereas for beauty our customers lean towards Dr. Barbara Sturm, Aesop, Augustinus Bader and Victoria Beckham Beauty.

How have consumer perceptions changed towards sustainable shopping over the years?
We see great support amongst our customers for sustainable brands and are constantly growing our Net Sustain platform. Their desire to shop more sustainably has increased, with sustainability playing a role in deciding purchases for four-fifth of Net-A-Porter customers. Moreover, our customers are highly conscious about the importance of buying more sustainably – long-lasting quality, versatility and quality are fundamental purchase drivers nowadays.

In your opinion, how can one truly shop sustainably?
Every brand takes a slightly different approach and prioritises different issues depending on the nature of their supply chain and end product. Therefore, it’s important we take a nuanced and nimble approach with all the brands we stock, as our partners in advancing this effort.

Products and brands in Net Sustain are featured in the dedicated area on site and are badged so that customers can easily identify items that have sustainable qualities. Our system means customers can choose according to the attributes that matter most to them.

As a consumer and as a buyer, I make an effort to purchase items with specific attributes. For an example, if I were to look into the Design for Circularity attribute, Conner Ives and Rave Review suggestions would be recommended, whereas if I look into Craft and Community, great designers such as Sindiso Khumalo and Lukhanyo Mdingi qualifies within this edit. Our goal with Net Sustain is to allow our customers to make informed choices that align with their values simply by filtering according to the attributes they’re passionate about.

All images are courtesy of Net-A-Porter

Check out Net Sustain here. 

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