Thursday, November 30, 2023

Another Sustainability First for Neiman Marcus. This Time, It’s All About Textiles.


Neiman Marcus became the first luxury retailer to invest in the booming secondhand market. Now, it’s working to improve the sustainability and circularity of its textiles—both up and downstream.

Luxury department store Neiman Marcus is increasing its sustainability efforts ahead of its forthcoming 2025 Environmental, Social, and Governance strategy.

The latest announcement includes an expanded partnership with the white-glove resale program Fashionphile and the first of its kind partnerships with the Textile Exchange.

“Now more than ever, environmental sustainability is top of mind for fashion and retail industries. NMG is taking action and driving change while we continue to revolutionize the ultimate luxury experience,” Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Chief Executive Officer, Neiman Marcus Group, said in a statement.Neiman Marcus operates 39 U.S. stores including Bergdorf Goodman locations.

Textile Exchange

NMG is the first luxury retailer to join the Textile Exchange. The nonprofit is a key force for textile industry standards with an emphasis on sustainable materials and practices. It’s working to help reduce CO2 emissions across the fashion and textile industries by 45 percent by 2030.

According to Neiman Marcus Group, it will work with Textile Exchange across its merchant and brand partner rosters in order to provide insights and education as well as increase revenue from sustainable and ethical products. It joins other luxury leaders including LVMH and Kering in the program.

Indian woman harvesting cotton in a cotton field, Maharashtra, India.

“NMG is synonymous with luxury merchandise and has the power to change their directly controlled products and influence on a much larger scale,” Claire Bergkamp, Chief Operating Officer of Textile Exchange, said. “It takes leaders such as NMG being committed to scaling preferred fibers and materials to evoke the industry-wide change we need.”

The Textile Exchange standards include efforts across organic cotton growing, as well as standards in animal-based materials including down, mohair, alpaca, wool, and mohair. The group also works with companies on recycling efforts and content claims.

Its Material Change Index is the largest peer-to-peer initiative that tracks apparel, footwear, and home textiles to align industries around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Neiman Marcus says Textile Exchange will play a significant role in its 2025 ESG strategy “providing leading insights and education to NMG’s merchants and brand partners.”

Luxury resale with Fashionphile

Neiman Marcus’s relationship with Fashionphile has been a success for Neiman Marcus; it has generated more than $16 million in resale merchandise across five cities through the platform since 2019 when it became a minority stakeholder in the resale platform–the first luxury retailer to invest in secondhand fashion.

The consignment service re-sells high-end luxury items, particularly handbags. The two companies expanded their partnership earlier this year; Fashionphile trained more than 3,000 Neiman Marcus employees in its new digital tool, the Stylist Network. It’s designed to help clients buy and sell high-end luxury items at discounted prices.

Image courtesy Fashionphile

“Today more than ever, the consumer is a conscientious shopper. She’s not only looking for a quality item at the right price, but she is thoughtful about the investment she is making and the sustainability of the purchase,” said Sarah Davis, founder and president of Fashionphile. “Neiman Marcus has been the perfect partner for Fashionphile as we pursue more innovative ways to engage with customers.”

The retailer is also supporting sustainable services and the circular economy through a partnership with Give Back Box. It encourages reusing the Neiman Marcus order boxes to ship any gently used clothing, accessories, or shoes to be distributed to local charities. The program covers all shipping costs.

“As our team works to finalize the anticipated 2025 ESG strategy, the Company is looking forward to helping build a better future for our industry with help from amazing partners such as Give Back Box, Textile Exchange, and FASHIONPHILE,”van Raemdonck said.


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