In an effort to boost its sustainability, LVMH has launched Nona Source, an online platform that sells unused fabric and leather supplies from the group's fashion labels at great discounts.
A first within the luxury goods industry
The circular project, which LVMH claims is unique in the luxury goods industry, was developed in-house by several LVMH employees. One of them is Romain Brabo, a former Givenchy fabric buyer, who has been looking for a solution to the many 'deadstocks' he encountered while working in the industry, while many (young) designers are constantly looking for beautiful fabrics to create their collections, and often do not have the means to buy them.
The principle is very straightforward, explains Marie Falguera, former CSR manager at Kenzo: "We buy deadstocks from the houses and put them back for sale at competitive prices after appraising them", she told Vogue Business. Discounts can be as much as 70 % off the original wholesale price. Nona Source is a B2B platform open to any brands, including independent designers, LVMH houses and competitors.
The new platform launched yesterday with 500 ifferent fabrics, all sourced from one fashion house within the group. However, the name of that brand is undisclosed. Nona Source will not sell rolls of fabric containing a logo: those materials are disposed of and recycled in partnership with a waste specialist.
Deadstock is a massive problem within the fashion industry: on average, it accounts for around 15 % of global production, representing a loss of 152 billion dollars (125 billion euros) annually. However, there is a long-standing stigma attached to it, with brands fearing that its mere existence indicates poor management or commercial decision-making.
Stephanie Benedetto, CEO of Queen of Raw, another platform for textile excess, therefore welcomes LVMH's initiative and openness: "Everybody’s got this waste. It’s inherent in the fashion production system, at least the way it was done historically. But now we are at a tipping point where we can do better with our waste, make money, save money, have a sustainable story to tell", she told Vogue Business.
Nona Source plans to expand its offerings to other materials in the future. "We want to be a platform of creative resources in the broadest sense", Brabo adds. He plans to offer buttons, stripes, zips and bobbins of thread, among other things. "We would be delighted if a designer made a collection 100 per cent with dead stocks coming from Nona Source", he concludes.