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CSR: From upcycling to newtechnologies

From partnerships aimed at enhancing the skills of entrepreneurs located in

sub-Saharan Africa to raising awareness of upcycling and teaching about new

technological solutions to help limit stock levels, the ESMOD group uses a

number of avenues to help it meet the challenges of CSR.

ESMOD Tokyo students, for example, have adapted stock from the famous Adoorlink group for the purposes of designing original creations available at the O0u (O zero U) brand’s pop-up store located in Lumine Shinjuku, Tokyo.

The ethical and ecological transition requires us to develop the solutions and skills

that lie at the heart of the ESMOD group’s thinking right throughout its network. This

thinking is materialised through a series of very concrete actions and initiatives that

explore a number of different avenues. First and foremost there is the group’s

reflection on inclusiveness, which is a matter of course for a group that operates in all

four corners of the globe and is keen for its teaching methods to be spread to

students from all origins and all backgrounds in parallel with its own development.

The ambitious partnership established with LAFAAAC (link to article) therefore aims,

thanks to the resources that new technologies provide, to disseminate certain know-

how and skills to entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa who did not necessarily have

previous access to Fashion Business education.

Then, of course, there is the group’s reflection on ethics and ecology, the carbon

footprint of a collection being a matter of major concern. The ESMOD group’s

conviction is based on a strategy that aims to combine the best of both tradition and

innovation. The digital revolution is making its presence felt in the development of

new e-commerce platforms such as DressX and software programs that combine

traditional fashion design and pattern-making expertise with new 3D design potential.

The ESMOD group offers training in the use of these brand-new tools through a

series of short training programmes (link to the Clo3D article or to the website) that

complement the initial training it offers. Learning these skills is essential as it will

eventually make it possible, and indeed is already allowing many luxury companies in

particular, to reduce stock production levels thanks to the rapid and relevant

implementation of photorealistic prototypes.

Circular economy: actions on the ground

This consideration of ethics and ecology is then reflected in the specific upcycling

initiatives implemented by each school. Recycling, of course, means short distribution

channels that in turn help optimise the carbon footprint of a fabric being incorporated

into a new production cycle. From Lyon to Tokyo, Sousse to Jakarta, Paris to Oslo,

each institution has established partnerships designed to enable students to

capitalise upon the cultural and industrial wealth of a given region.

There is certainly no shortage of examples of the sheer extent and diversity of these

partnerships. In Indonesia, for example, sustainability is driving the teaching

administered by ESMOD Jakarta through a series of collaborations with leading

companies, such as APR, which designs eco-designed fibres and biodegradable

textiles, as well as the media and various associations, while local know-how and

excellent craftsmanship are promoted through regular talks. Students were

consequently involved in creating a range of accessories in the framework of a

partnership with renowned organisation the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature).

“The idea was to design accessories that would be sold by members of the Alam

Bukit Tiga Puluh tribe so that they could offer a product that was as much in keeping

with consumer expectations as possible”, explains Guillaume Oger, Design

Coordinator at ESMOD Jakarta, “the aim being to get people to buy the product for its

intrinsic qualities”.

ESMOD Japan students worked on another large-scale project last January that

involved them adapting stock from the well-known Adoorlink group, a subsidiary of

Adastria, which itself develops clothing brands designed using sustainable materials

and manufacturing techniques. The project spans every stage in the garment’s life

cycle, from production to sale, including the repair and reuse of fabrics. Adastria

representative Mr. Fukuda addressed the students directly in a seminar while

Adoorlink director Mr. Takahashi introduced the students to the philosophy and

values of the O0u (O zero U) brand, founded in March 2021. It was the latter, in fact,

that showcased the final creations by this new generation of designers trained at the

school at its pop-up store in Lumine Shinjuku, Tokyo (as well as on the O0u e-

commerce site).

“The students, who spanned all year groups, worked enthusiastically to create a

comprehensive collection of 30 looks (85 pieces) that were entirely upcycled”,

explains Thomas Vasseur, Artistic Director at ESMOD Tokyo. “This collaboration also

aimed to stimulate the students’ spirit of cooperation, with 3 rd -year students

supervising the work of students from other years in groups that operated as full

workshops. The students took charge of the entire production process, from sewing

to packaging to visual photography, and I’m very proud of the result; the students’

creativity has really manifested itself in the design and production of a collection of

genderless coats, jackets, shirts and T-shirts that transcends age, gender and


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