Chloé is the first luxury fashion house in Europe to attain Benefit Corporation (B Corp) certification, a third-party standard that legally mandates companies to act in the interest of people and the environment.

The process of obtaining B Corp certification can take anywhere from six to 10 months to complete.

According to B Corp's website, one in three companies that apply for certification are approved.

Applicants must undergo a lengthy certification process, renewed every three years, that assesses their impact on workers, community, customers, and the environment. Companies must also maintain public transparency regarding their performance.

Leading Chloé's commitment to more eco-friendly practices is Gabriela Hearst, named creative director of the house in December 2020.

Hearst long pushed for environmentally conscious fashion before "sustainability" became an industry buzzword.

To launch her eponymous label in 2017, the designer staged a plastic-free runway show, presenting looks made of recycled fabrics.

In 2020, Hearst developed a carbon-neutral runway show, made possible by booking local models and craft services.

Necessary carbon emissions were offset via donations to the Hifadhi-Livelihoods Project in Kenya, an organization that provides energy-efficient stoves to families in Embu and Tharaka Nithi.

At Chloé, Hearst has introduced garments made of lower impact materials such as leftover fabric and linen, which requires less water to produce than cotton.

According to CEO Riccardo Bellini, Chloé's B Corp certification is intended to frame the company's shift to a "purpose-driven" business model.

Bellini told WWD that Chloé will not use its newly minted certification as a marketing tool.

B Corp certification isn't to be taken lightly, and it's certainly commendable that Chloé is making concrete moves to become more environmentally responsible.

Currently, only a handful of fashion businesses are B Corp certified, including Vestiaire Collective, Patagonia, and Toms.

In an industry that can often feel optics-driven, Chloé's certification is more than just a surface-level commitment to sustainability — a move that may prod fellow houses to attempt certification.

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