Metal accessories for fashion: sustainability certification is born in Florence





A new standard to measure the sustainability of the entire metal fashion accessories supply chain is born in Florence. The initiative, unique in the world, is by Fondazione LEAF, a reality created to promote ethical, environmental and social values in the luxury sector. "The initiative," explains Luca Cartocci, who has put his expertise in compliance and quality assurance for the luxury world into Fondazione LEAF, "was born from a specific demand from brands. The goal is to cover the information deficit on the production process of metal accessories: an important step because it is information conveyed to the end consumer, in the case of bijoux, but also because it concerns a fundamental component of luxury production."


"Until now, only the environmental impact associated with the production of the base materials was known," Cartocci explains, "everything that took place in the supply chain, for example, from molding processes to galvanic deposits, was not quantified. For three years, the Foundation collected data on the environmental and social impacts of 70 companies, 90 percent of them European and 10 percent operating in Asia, and developed six impact categories that set an industry-specific standard." Specifically, these are impacts on global warming, land and water resource use, water use, removal of the atmospheric Ozone layer, and environmental and human toxicity.


The LEAF Hardware standard contributes to the achievement of the17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the goals from the United Nations to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity by 2030. And it will do so with a certification, for the first time, 100% made in Italy. "For the first time, an international standard has been created in Italy, and in Tuscany in particular, specifically for the fashion sector," Cartocci clarifies. "This is an event, because we usually refer to standards created in the United States or other European countries.


Currently, the public consultation phase of the Standard has ended and the final version will be published soon. After that, companies that want to certify will find the list of accredited bodies to conduct audits and receive the certification, which is valid for three years for business sustainability and one year for product environmental impact. "We want to activate a virtuous circle," Cartocci concludes. It is hoped that in the future products will have lower and lower impact values. The annual update of the limit values related to environmental impact in order to obtain LEAF Hardware certification will help companies to operate in a virtuous way and try to operate with increasingly sustainable actions." The project is part of an even broader challenge: to achieve certification of the finished product.

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