Balenciaga is a Spanish luxury fashion house that designs womenswear, menswear, shoes, handbags, and accessories.

The French fashion group Kering owns Balenciaga and several other global luxury brands, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, and Kering Eyewear.

Sustainability is part of the group's strategy as an ethical necessity and a driver of innovation.

Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga founded the clothing company in San Sebastian, Spain, in 1917. Today, the fashion brand runs its operations from its headquarters in Paris, France.

Balenciaga celebrates iconic or fashion-forward styles and is well-known for its stylish streetwear, including shirts, sweatshirts, blouses, pants, denim jeans, and sneakers.

Balenciaga partnered with the World Food Programme in 2018. It wants to draw attention to a recent spike in global hunger and support efforts to end it by 2030.

Balenciaga continues to raise funds and spread awareness. It doubled the proceeds from each product designated as a WFP donation to 20 percent.

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Sustainability Rating: 6/10

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Category: Clothing, bags, shoes, accessories, jewelry

For: Women, men

Type: Basics, dresses, denim, knitwear, outerwear, loungewear, flats, sandals, boots, sneakers

Style: Chic, haute couture

Quality: High

Price: $$$

Sizes: 2XS-4XL, 0-16 (US), 6-20 (UK), 32-46 (EU), 6-20 (AU)

Fabrics: Cotton, linen, lyocell, viscose, modal, acetate, polyester, nylon, spandex, acrylic, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, rubber, leather, wool, silk, down

100% Organic: No

100% Vegan: No

Ethical & Fair: Yes

Recycling: Yes

Producing country: not transparent enough

Certifications: GOTS, RWS, FSC, SA8000

Sustainability Practices

"At Kering, we care about our impact on the planet and on people and we see this responsibility as an opportunity to reinvent our business and indeed luxury as a whole."

- François-Henri Pinault, Kering Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Balenciaga believes that luxury can have a significant contribution to creating a more sustainable world. It continues to lead through responsibility, accountability, and transparency to catalyze transformational change.

Balenciaga uses a small proportion of sustainable materials such as organic cotton, linen fabrics, and recycled fabrics such as recycled polyester and nylon.

Its organic fabrics are GOTS certified, a widely recognized certification standard that guarantees sustainable processes, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible conditions.

The brand also uses semi-synthetic regenerated fibers such as lyocell, modal, viscose, and acetate made from renewable materials, extracted from wood pulp from FSC certified sustainable forests.

However, Balenciaga also uses polluting fabrics to produce many of its clothes, including synthetic petroleum-based fibers such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyurethane, and acrylic.

Balenciaga doesn't reveal enough information concerning how it chooses its suppliers. It doesn't publish a list of its manufacturing and processing facilities on its corporate website.

As part of the Kering Group, Balenciaga has taken steps to evaluate forced labor risks in its supply chain. The group has certified several of its businesses under Social Accountability International’s (SAI) SA8000 standard.

SA8000 includes an endorsement by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Kering continues its commitment to bring all of its businesses into compliance with SA8000 and obtain certification. It regularly audits its supply chain to ensure compliance with high social and environmental standards.

Balenciaga doesn't use any exotic animal skin, or hair, fur, angora. But it uses leather, wool, silk, and down feathers to manufacture many of its clothing pieces.

These animal-derived materials are cruel and unethical and harm the environment by producing greenhouse gases and wastes. More sustainable alternatives exist.

Sustainability Goals

As part of the Kering Group, Balenciaga reduces its environmental impacts and advocates for social welfare through unprecedented innovation and industry collaboration.

Balenciaga aims to reach a 40% reduction target of its overall environmental impacts by 2025.

Balenciaga is carbon neutral by using greenhouse gas emission offsets that finance verified Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) projects that conserve critical forests, biodiversity and support the livelihoods of local communities.

Balenciaga plans to reach 100% sustainable sourcing and 100% traceability for key raw materials by 2025.

Balenciaga understands that significant work remains to be done. It wants to demonstrate the transformative power of business for change, making sustainability fashionable for the future.

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