Danish fashion house Ganni is taking sustainability and collaborations seriously. Its latest effort includes a partnership with New Balance on sustainable sneakers, as well as the launch of its own circular secondhand resale platform.
“If we want to successfully tackle the major ecological issues we are facing, we have to work even closer together and include even more people in our work,” Ganni founder Nicolaj Reffstrup wrote in the label’s 2021 sustainability impact report.
That collaborative mentality is behind two new Ganni partnerships: a New Balance sneaker and a Reflaunt-powered resale platform.
Ganni x New Balance
Twenty-twenty-one was a banner year for the Danish fashion house, which featured responsible materials in nearly all of its SS22 collection, including certified organic, lower-impact, and recycled textiles.
“We also saw some major advances with our Fabrics of the Future initiative, our in-house lab where we trial new and exciting fabric innovations: We made shoes out of grapes, we confirmed that we will be using INFINNA™, a breakthrough regenerated fibre from textile waste plus we are aiming to launch five Fabrics of the Future per year from 2022 onwards,” Reffstrup said.
Last year also saw the brand commit to becoming animal-leather-free by 2023 in a bid to become more sustainable and more ethical. “Selling leather products, although highly profitable, will soon be as outdated as smoking on TV,” Reffstrup said.
“We’re phasing out leather completely by 2023, as it conflicts with our efforts to minimise our impact due to high levels of methane emissions from the livestock,” he added. “Introducing Vegea, a plant-based alternative made from agricultural waste, is a step in the direction towards more responsible collection.”
This week, its first collaboration with New Balance will see Y2K-throwback style sneakers with a sustainable twist. The new 2002R silhouette comes in green-and-cream or gray-and-rainbow color tones and feature the Ganni logo. The shoes are made from recycled materials as part of New Balance’s Green Leaf Standard. More than 50 percent of the shoe uppers are made from recycled materials. It also features 100 percent recycled content mesh, 100 percent recycled content laces, and five percent regrind rubber outsoles.
“I am such a big fan of New Balance, I’ve been wearing them since forever,” Ditte Reffstrup, Creative Director of Ganni, said in an official statement. “New Balance’s 2002R style really fits into the Copenhagen way of dressing — we’re always cycling and running somewhere. This shoe is the perfect mix of function and fashion. It’s a huge honor to put a Ganni spin on such an iconic New Balance shoe and we are super excited to be able to create it with so much innovation and recycled materials.”
Lauren Fitzsimmons, lead of global collaborations at New Balance, told BAZAAR.com that Ganni’s unique Scandinavian style made it an easy choice. “A classic pair of New Balance is usually the footwear of choice for a lot of Ganni girls, so it was a no-brainer that we should team up and work on something collaboratively together,” she said.
The footwear brand says it will be carbon neutral by 2050. It’s been increasing the use of sustainable materials in recent years, but it will also look to tackle Scope 3 emissions as well.
“The general pathways of reduction are really around energy efficiency and renewable energy in both our own operations but more importantly in the supply chain,” John Stokes, New Balance’s director of sustainability, said. “That’s where a lot of our emissions are, in that scope 3 supply chain piece.”
Ganni goes circular
Reffstrup points to last November’s COP26, which he calls “extremely disappointing.” That’s motivation, he says as “it proved to us that we cannot rely on politicians or governments to save us. We must take action and by using Ganni as a vehicle for change we believe we can demonstrate the impact a fashion brand is capable of making: By reducing our carbon footprint, adopting circular business models and taking a strong stance on supply chain accountability we can inspire change on a bigger scale.”
That ethos spurred Ganni to build on its commitment to support more circular fashion with the launch of its own in-house resale platform.
Last August, it announced a partnership with the French secondhand platform, the Vestiaire Collective. That partnership saw Ganni release archived styles for a limited run on the platform.
Now, it’s launching a resale platform for shoppers in the U.K. and Scandinavian countries, building on the growing interest in luxury fashion resale. Ganni is partnering with Reflaunt to power the platform. It partnered with Net-a-Porter last year on its resale platform. Customers can either accept a bank payment or purchase credit, which comes with an additional 20 percent in trade value aimed at keeping consumers in the platform’s circular fashion loop.
“At Ganni, we believe that responsibility is a prerequisite for doing business in the future,” Reffstrup said. “Our community has a superfluid approach to their wardrobe so we’re offering them multiple ways of renting, returning, reselling, wearing, and owning Ganni. And we’re determined to make it so seamless you don’t even notice you made the responsible choice,” he added.
“By now we’re covering all bases offering resale, take-back schemes, rentals, and repairs,” Reffstrup continues. “Our efforts will only have a real impact if they scale, so please have a go at it.”