Prince Charles of England, Brunello Cucinelli and Federico Marchetti at Villa Wolkonsky, residence of the UK Ambassador to Italy, during the presentation of the first SMI project, which took place alongside the G20 in Rome (30-31 October 2021).

Brunello Cucinelli is expanding his fight for a more sustainable future with his latest project.

The Italian designer behind his namesake brand has joined HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiatives (SMI) Fashion Task Force and will be funding the Himalayan Regenerative Fashion Living Lab to support sustainable fashion production beginning with farming in local communities and continuing through the supply chain.   

The SMI was founded in 2020 by Prince Charles in an effort to create a more sustainable future through education, philanthropy, and social awareness of the environmental crisis. 

The SMI Fashion Task Force, chaired by Italian businessman Frederico Marchetti, is dedicated to regenerative farming, which is a holistic way of farming that avoids harsh pesticides, improves soil health and provides economic support to local textile producers. 

Cucinelli will be donating 1 million euros to the Himalayan Regenerative Fashion Living Lab project which aims to restore and rebuild degraded land and recover traditional craft and textile skills throughout local communities in areas of the Himalayas. 

Courtesy Brunello Cucinelli

Creating these sustainable fashion value chains will improve local cashmere, cotton, and silk economies, while addressing the issues of climate change and what happens to the environment when there is a loss of biodiversity.  

Cucinelli said in a press release, “Our mother Earth has welcomed and nurtured us, it has allowed us to enjoy its wonderful resources, and it is our great responsibility to protect it as fully and carefully as possible.”

He goes on to say he’s been “fascinated by the East, by these regions of the world and the people who live where the landscape is so enchanting and the sky so close to man” and is planning a trip to the area in the fall.

“It is with sincere enthusiasm that we have agreed to join a project of the highest humanity, so that various populations can continue to live in the places of their ancient life in harmony with nature,” he stated.

The Himalayan Regenerative Living Lab will be carried out in the field by ReForest Action (which preserves and restores depleted land in a more holistic approach) and The Circular Bioeconomy Alliance led by scientist Marc Palahi (which creates links between finance and environmental care through job creation within local and indigenous communities).

Cucinelli told WWD he’s “always admired” Prince Charles for “speaking up on global warming and sustainability — he did so as far back as the ‘80s.”

He also extended his admiration for the Prince’s sense of style, revealing his Royal Highness is featured on the brand’s moodboards. “He is super chic, among the most elegant men in the world,” the designer told the outlet.

Cucinelli, Marchetti, and the Prince of Wales first met in 2021 at the G20 Summit, which addresses global economics, sustainability, climate, and international financial stability in Rome.

The SMI Fashion Task Force has 15 members which includes: Stella McCartney, Gabriella Hearst, Burberry, Chloé, Giorgio Armani, Moda Operandi, Mulberry, Selfridges, Vestiaire Collective, Johnstons of Elgin, The Dubai Mall, and Zalando.

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