How Tapestry is Scaling Circularity Among its Luxury Brands

From recycling to next-generation materials, Tapestry is accelerating the push toward circularity among iconic brands Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman

When it comes to luxury fashion, there is no doubting the dominance of European conglomerates LVMH and Kering.

But across the pond, an American multinational luxury goods group is making its presence felt – not just in financial growth, but in sustainability too.

Starting out as Coach Inc. in 1941, Tapestry, Inc. has grown with the acquisition of some of the world’s largest designer accessory brands including Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.

More recently, the New York-based group announced the acquisition of Capri Holdings in a US$8.5 billion deal that will bring luxury brands Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors into the Group’s fashion fold.

It’s a move that is expected to generate more than US$12 billion in annual revenue and positions Tapestry as a major player in the global luxury goods market.

Currently operating in more than 70 countries, and with 18,000 employees across three iconic brands, Tapestry delivered international revenue growth of 13% in FY23 and double-digit EPS growth.

CEO Joanne Crevoiserat is one of Fortune's Most Powerful Women

Tapestry Expands Purpose-Led Framework

What’s more impressive than Tapestry's growth is the way in which that growth is being managed – in a responsible way, as proposed by the company’s purpose-led framework.

Grounded in the belief that every beautiful choice can be a responsible choice, Tapestry’s framework continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of the business – and was recently extended from three pillars (People, Planet and Communities) to four.

“At Tapestry, we believe that sustainability is a business imperative,” says CEO Joanne Crevoiserat, who was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in 2023.

“Our actions help us maintain a growing business with a reliable supply chain, and we know both customers and employees want to engage with companies whose values align with their own.”

Tapestry’s latest purpose-led pillar – Products – emphasises the advancing of material innovation, circularity and making more responsible finished products that design out waste and pollution.

Tapestry's Purpose-Led Frameworks Focuses on Four Pillars

And the global lifestyle house is making ambitious goals in this direction, as revealed in its latest Corporate Responsibility Strategy, Tapestry of Change.

In a move to drive circularity among its brands, Tapestry has announced bold product and packaging targets for 2025 – with a focus on recycling and material innovation:

  • 95% traceability and mapping of raw materials
  • 95% polymide (nylon) from pre- or post-consumer recycled sources
  • 90% of cotton will be organic- or regenerative-certified
  • 75% recycled content in consumer packaging

Also, by 2027, 95% of polyester will hail from pre- or post-consumer recycled sources and by 2030, 10% of leather will come from farms using regenerative agriculture practices or made with next-generation materials.

The company is already making substantial progress, especially around leather, which makes up more than 50% of the company’s raw materials by weight.

Two years ahead of schedule, Tapestry has not only achieved but surpassed its 2025 goal of sourcing more than 90% of its leather from Gold- and Silver-rated LWG tanneries – reaching 97% in FY23.

Tapestry is Making Substantial Progress in Sourcing Environmentally Preferred Materials

Tracing and Transparency Key to Sustainable Sourcing

To achieve this – and more – Tapestry partners with cloud-based sustainability platform TrusTrace and is onboarding manufacturers and suppliers free of charge.

This will become the central data hub for Tapestry’s traceability and responsible sourcing programme, to measure, manage and bring together supply chain impact data – helping the company to “align with upcoming regulatory requirements and industry best practices”.

In scaling the sourcing of leather responsibly, Tapestry is also taking part in various pilots to trace leather, from farm to finished goods.

Among these, a completed pilot with tannery partner ISA TanTec alongside tech provider ADNAS – and participation in a traceability pilot with the UNECE to use blockchain technology to support sustainability claims through traceability in leather value chains.

Recycling – Keeping Products and Materials in Circulation

Recycling of leather (and other materials) is a further focus – with Tapestry recently confirming its commitment to circular economy principles with sign-up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a Network Partner.

“We are working toward a goal that 10% of leather used in Tapestry products will be sourced from farms using regenerative agriculture practices, made with recycled inputs, or made with next-generation materials by 2030,” Tapestry said in its report.

In walking the talk, Coach rolled out recycled materials in its latest show (Spring 2024). Think leather blazers, jackets and skirts repurpose from vintage leather garments and scraps – as well as repurposed denim essentials crafted from post-consumer denim garments sourced from second-hand stores.

The Coach (Re)Loved ecosystem, as it is called, keeps Coach items in use longer, either by restoring them, transforming them into a new finished product, or preserving through Coach Vintage.

With the takeback programme now rolled out in the US, Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan and the UK, Tapestry is on track to reach its goal of TRUE Zero Waste certification for the Coach (Re)Loved and Repair Workshop in early 2024.

The numbers speak for themselves.

More than 63,000 Coach products were repaired globally in FY2023, while 11,000 were given a second life through Coach (Re)Loved.

Beyond Coach, Kate Spade New York’s trade-in partnership with thredUP lets consumers send in gently used items and receive Kate Spade credit with 4,000 items recirculated since January 2023.

Tapestry Investing in Next-Generation Material Drive

In scaling circularity, Tapestry acknowledges the need for increased next-generation material innovation – and is increasingly putting its weight (and dollars) behind the push for alternative materials.

The last year has seen the luxury goods house pump millions into scaling innovation – including a £1 million in Generation Phoenix, a UK company using wet blue leather offcuts to create a new and durable material.

Coachtopia Launch is Future of Circular Product Design

Supporting this vision of a truly circular economy leveraging innovative materials, Tapestry recently launched Coach sub-brand Coachtopia.

Speaking directly to younger consumers, Coachtopia’s products push beyond baseline sustainability to a circular future with the leveraging of materials, innovation and technology.

For example, Coachtopia products are among the first that can provide customers with a calculation of its cradle-to-grave carbon footprint.

By leveraging a digital passport technology that can amplify consumer education before and at the point of purchase, the sub-brand will deliver a level of transparency that “will show the carbon footprint of the bag, any repair product timelines and if a product has been granted a second life”.

Customers with a Coach account will be able to review the overall environmental impact of their purchases compared with those made with virgin materials for Coachtopia products connected to their account.

“Tapestry’s purpose is enduring: we stretch what’s possible every day, through our values as well as through our business ambitions,” said Ms. Crevoiserat.

As well as Product, Tapestry has made significant gains across its three other purpose-led pillars – Planet, People, Communities.

  • Procured renewable energy for 80% of Tapestry’s global retail, offices and fulfillment centres

  • Announced a new Environmental Sustainability Framework for our suppliers, which will streamline Tapestry’s sustainability strategy and provide more direct support to supply chain partners

  • Joined the Inclusion Works coalition of more than 100 Disability:IN corporate partners to further the journey of understanding and meeting the needs of associates, consumers and community members with disabilities

  • Achieved the 2025 goal of donating $75 million in product and financial contributions globally two years early

  • Completed 82,300 hours of global employee volunteering, a 60% increase over FY2022 and putting Tapestry over one-third of the way to the company’s goal of 500,000 hours by 2030

*******************

Make sure you check out the latest edition of Sustainability Magazine and also sign up to our global conference series - Sustainability LIVE 2024.

*******************

Sustainability is a BizClik brand.

Share

Featured Articles

Sustainability LIVE – More Events to Come in 2024

Sustainability LIVE will be returning with more events in 2024 with New York, London, The Global Sustainability & ESG Awards, and Diversity & Inclusion

Sustainability LIVE New York: Meet Our Speakers

Discover the lineup for Sustainability LIVE New York. Don’t miss out on your chance to attend the two-day virtual event on 3 and 4 June 2024

The Sustainability & ESG Awards Submissions – 1 Week to Go

Just one more week to go until submissions close for The Sustainability & ESG Awards launching at Sustainability LIVE London Global Summit

American Express’s Madge Thomas joins Sustainability LIVE NY

ESG

PepsiCo CSO Jim Andrew joins Sustainability LIVE New York

ESG

Amy Brachio, EY Joins Sustainability LIVE New York

Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)