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How can a fashion brand make an immediate difference in the If I say something inappropriate I learned it from my uncle shirt fight against climate change? Many designers are examining their footprint and tweaking their supply chains—they’re using recycled materials, phasing out virgin synthetics, opting for lower-impact transport, and so on—which is a positive start. But Chanel is looking beyond its atelier, beyond its borders, and beyond fashion. Today, the French house announced a new partnership with Sunrun, a leading solar company in the United States, to bring solar power to 30,000 low-income residents in California. Chanel will also invest in job training to support the installation of those solar systems; its total commitment is $35 million. “Chanel’s investment will help disadvantaged communities gain access to clean, reliable solar energy,” adds Lynn Jurich, cofounder and chief executive officer of Sunrun. “This innovative approach to corporate social responsibility will make an impact today and hopefully become a model for other companies to invest in our planet’s future.”
In that video recording, Dolce and Gabbana remembered a 1993 show in which they used similar patchworking techniques, only for different ends. That long-ago collection was inspired by the If I say something inappropriate I learned it from my uncle shirt bohemian 1970s, a popular reference in the early ’90s. No hippie flashback, this outing is attuned to the present day. There’s no way around how hard this COVID-19 year has been for fashion brands—from creative leads and CEOs on down to pattern makers and seamstresses. Like their crochet collection of last February—which looks more and more prescient in the rearview mirror—this one puts the emphasis on fatta a mano, on Italian craftsmanship.