Today, Coach launches Coachtopia, a new sub-brand focused on circular craft and collaborative creativity, catalyzing the brand’s progress towards a fully circular business model. Launching in the United States, Canada and the UK, Coachtopia will expand to Asia later this year.
NEW YORK, April 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — With a mission to help advance a circular fashion system, Coachtopia is built from the outset for circularity, grounded in its Made Circular design philosophy—a set of three principles that inform how the sub-brand designs, crafts, and reuses products. Harnessing more than 80 years of Coach leather expertise, Coachtopia reimagines the product lifecycle from end to beginning— reducing the creation of new materials by crafting with waste and designing products that can be reimagined, remade and recycled to live multiple lives. In so doing, it is working to create beautiful things that have a significantly reduced impact on the planet compared to conventional luxury products.
“Circularity is about reimagining not just the product lifecycle, but the relationship between brand, planet and consumer. That’s why we’ve created Coachtopia as both a discovery lab to pioneer circularity in fashion and a collaborative platform for change,” says Joon Silverstein, SVP, Global Marketing, Creative and Sustainability at Coach and Head of Coachtopia. “We know that to transform our impacts, we need to fundamentally shift mindsets—from seeing opportunity in waste to designing backwards to taking a more open-source approach to creativity. We’ve built Coachtopia as an entirely new world within Coach—an agile start-up with a mission to reimagine the end-to-end system. We’re building it not just for our consumers, but with them, inviting a growing community of hundreds of Gen Z individuals to join us on our Slack channel, collaborate with us on products, take center stage in our content and campaigns—and reimagine our future together.”
Designed for and with a new generation of consumers who are increasingly passionate about addressing the climate crisis and determined to drive change, Coachtopia is resetting the paradigm between brand and consumer, co-creating a new brand in collaboration with a growing community of Gen Z individuals—from climate activists, designers and upcyclers to journalists, film makers, entrepreneurs and fashion enthusiasts. The Coachtopian community has been actively involved in Coachtopia since its earliest founding days, with members continually sharing their perspectives on circular fashion, shaping concepts, and setting expectations of the change they want to see. As part of its mission, Coachtopia is investing in this next generation of talent through collaborative programs, harnessing and showcasing new talent to find solutions to the problems facing fashion.
“We were inspired by our shared desire to do better for the planet by inventing new circular ways of dreaming, designing and creating,” said Coach Creative Director Stuart Vevers. “It’s a bigger, bolder step forward in realizing our vision for sustainability at Coach, where we prioritize experimenting and learning, and ethical design intentions over cookie cutter perfection. Coachtopia takes this to a new level by challenging us to ‘design in reverse,’ with the end goal of circularity top of mind, in collaboration with the next generation and their optimistic vision for tomorrow.”
Coachtopia is a world in progress—advancing iteratively towards a continually evolving vision of circularity. It builds upon the investments that Coach is making to improve the end-to-end sustainability of its business, as well as the learnings and capabilities developed through the brand’s Coach (Re)Loved program. By giving a second life to more than 20,000 Coach products since its April 2021 launch, Coach (Re)Loved has provided critical insights into the aspects of traditional luxury craftsmanship that make circularity challenging, and thus the need to design for circularity from the start in order to achieve it at scale. Coachtopia takes up this challenge, innovating through rapid prototyping and forming a continuous feedback loop with Coach to drive mutual progress.
Coachtopia launches today with an all-gender collection of bags, accessories, ready-to-wear and footwear made with recycled, repurposed and renewable materials and designed with our Made Circular principles in mind. As Coachtopia grows, it will continue to innovate through limited drops of experimental products that push circular craft ever further—with a commitment to take back every product at end-of-life for reuse, remaking or recycling. Each bag, wallet, footwear and ready- to-wear product also comes with a unique digital passport—accessed via an embedded NFC chip—that gives customers transparency into its materials, Made Circular design and impacts. This digital passport also provides the means to follow the product’s journey as it is repaired, restored, reused and reimagined over multiple lives.
Coachtopia is available today on Coach.com in the US, Canada and UK and in Selfridges, London.
Coachtopia will then launch in Spitalfields, London on April 28; Coach stores across the US including Coach House Fifth Avenue, New York; N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago; The Grove, Los Angeles; and Dadeland, Miami; and additional Selfridges stores across the UK in May; Coach House Regent Street, London in early June; and Coach Soho, New York in July. Coachtopia will also expand to Asia later this year.
That’s just the short version. Take a full tour of Coachtopia, including details on its Made Circular principles, material innovations, strategic partnerships and launch campaign below.
Learn more about Coachtopia at coachtopia.com. Connect on social @coachtopia.
A world of circular craft
In today’s linear fashion system, over 85% of materials produced end up incinerated or as waste in landfill. Through its Made Circular principles, Coachtopia is working to design out waste and reduce the use of new materials—the creation of which accounts for 38%* of the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions—while helping to keep products out of landfill by designing them to be reused over many lives. Coachtopia’s Made Circular principles are as follows:
- Craft with recycled, repurposed or renewable materials. Exploring new ways to craft from what already exists, with a mission to avoid the creation of new, virgin materials in making Coachtopia products. The leathers used in Coachtopia products are either ingeniously Upcrafted from Coach production waste or made with at least 50% recycled leather scraps from tanneries. Other materials used across the range include 95%+ recycled cotton for hoodies and T-shirts, a colorful 70%+ recycled resin for bag straps and hardware, 100% recycled polyester for canvas totes and webbing on footwear and a 40% bio-based renewable Sugarcane EVA for footwear soles.
- Design for multiple lives. Crafting products to be more easily disassembled, repaired and reimagined for second and even third lives. Coachtopia is continually working to develop new, circular design details to help products to be more easily repaired, unmade and remade with less damage to their components and materials than in conventional luxury leather goods. From removable screw- back hardware, detachable handles and straps, binding or seam-out constructions and monomaterial designs, Coachtopia design innovations are aimed at keeping materials in use at their highest value—and out of landfill.
- Create circular pathways. Committing to take back all Coachtopia products, regardless of age or condition, and finding ways to reuse them, with clear pathways defined for restoring, upcrafting, remaking and recycling. Each Coachtopia product can be traded in at a Coach Retail store in exchange for a credit—calculated according to the product’s original price and current condition. Each one comes with a unique digital passport to track its journey across multiple lives.
* Source: Fashion on Climate, McKinsey & Company, 2020
Designed in accordance with Coachtopia’s Made Circular principles, the Coachtopia launch collection features a range of products ingeniously made with waste, including the Ergo and Wavy Dinky shoulder bags, a multi-functional 3-in-1 Crossbody Belt Bag and a selection of small leather goods, ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories crafted with recycled, repurposed and renewable materials. Key innovations include:
Upcrafted leather is made from Coach production waste, specifically, the scraps of leather left over after Coach bag patterns are cut from leather hides, through processes that are only possible thanks to Coach’s 80+ years of leather expertise. In the launch collection, the Ergo and Wavy Dinky bags have been reimagined using a range of different Upcrafted techniques, including patchwork, weaving, appliqué, sequins, pressed leathers and scrap binding, that transform Coach waste—from leather cutting room scraps to zipper ends— into unique artisanal styles. Key styles include the Ergo and Wavy Dinky in Checkerboard Upcrafted Leather.
Coachtopia leather is made with at least 50% recycled leather scraps from tanneries. Though it’s made with waste, it sacrifices nothing in terms of style: Coachtopia has worked with its partners to ensure Coachtopia leather has the premium finish, grain and hand feel that you would expect from a Coach leather product. All bags and leather goods in the launch collection are available in Coachtopia leather variations, including styles that come with a unique Upcrafted binding made from Coach production leather scraps.
70% Recycled Resin
As part of Coachtopia’s mission to design for multiple lives, several styles in the launch collection come with easily detachable handles crafted in a colorful resin made from at least 70% recycled plastic waste, sorted by color and then extruded into new materials in one-of-a-kind patterns and colors. This recycled resin is also used across the collection for select hardware details and hangtags.
A Shift Towards “Nothing New”
Throughout the collection Coachtopia has examined every detail of its products with a view to replacing virgin materials with recycled, repurposed or renewable ones. The leather linings of Coachtopia bags are made with at least 50% recycled leather scraps. The thread used to stitch them is 100% recycled polyester. The plastic hardware in bags and small accessories is made from at least 70% recycled resin. Ready-to-wear is crafted in 95%+ recycled cotton or repurposed denim deadstock. Even the labels inside each product are 100% recycled polyester or nylon.
Additionally, Coachtopia’s at least 75% recycled packaging has been designed to be multi-functional to reduce material use and is printed with renewable Algae Ink.
Powered by Community
Coachtopia is being built as a community in which a new generation of fashion enthusiasts, creatives, entrepreneurs, activists and more are invited to participate through collaborative discussions, projects and opportunities. It’s a platform for change in which emerging Gen Z voices help create the future they want to see.
The Coachtopia Beta Community
Coachtopia has been built on the passion of the Coachtopia Beta Community, a global and growing network of diverse and inspiring Gen Z individuals who are feeding their perspectives and ideas into Coachtopia products, messages and concepts as they are developed. They are united by a desire to drive positive change and help build a better future for fashion.
“We want to be part of the conversation because we see what the world will be like if we don’t make change.”
Sophie Lowery, 20, film student and Coachtopia Beta Community founding member
Through limited-edition product collaborations, Coachtopia is inviting emerging talents to show- case their creativity and bring new and inspiring perspectives to bear on fashion’s challenges. The brand’s first collaboration is with graphic designer and illustrator Sabrina Lau, whose original art- work for Coachtopia’s launch drop is inspired by her love of texture and surreal juxtaposition, as well as her encounters with nature throughout her home city of New York.
“Honestly, it was like a fever dream. It really did feel like a true collaboration—it was very open. And to be the first one to kick it off is truly an honor.”
Sabrina Lau, 25, collaborating graphic designer and Coachtopia Beta Community member
Designing the future
With the Coach Foundation, Coachtopia is sup- porting the passion and ingenuity of tomorrow’s design talent. The CFDA x Coach Dream It Real Circular Design Scholarship has been awarded to 15 students passionate about making fashion more circular. Coachtopia has invited these scholars to participate in a “Coachtopia Waste Contest” in which, with mentorship from the Coachtopia team, they worked to develop new creative uses for Coach leather scraps. Select projects will be brought to market as limited edition drops.
“Going through the design and production process with the Coachtopia team pushed me to design with a new perspective. [The experience] has given me a lot more confidence in designing for circularity— and has inspired me to always leave a positive impact with the products I make.”
Vivian Luo, 21, fashion design student at The New School and Coachtopia Beta Community member.
As part of its collaborative ethos, Coachtopia is putting its community at the forefront of its campaigns and storytelling—engaging its broader audience in meaningful conversations around circular fashion through the voices of the inspiring and diverse group of individuals in the growing Coachtopian community. These community members are featured in the launch campaign, web content and a range of digital assets that take us behind-the-scenes in the making of Coachtopia, working both in front of and behind the camera.
“As a sustainability consultant and designer I’ve been bringing my voice and expertise to Coachtopia. They are collaborating with us, with the next generation of artists, activists and designers. Coachtopia has created a unique community of like-minded people in the sustainability and fashion spaces.”
Maya Penn, 23, climate activist, sustainable fashion designer and artist and Coachtopia Beta Community member.
The Launch Campaign
In its launch campaign, Coachtopia is paying tribute to its growing community, bringing together nine Gen Z talents, along with Coachtopia’s designer and master craftsperson, who represent the breadth of voices feeding into the brand’s products, messages and long-term vision:
Lola Tung, actor
Maya Penn, climate activist sustainable fashion designer and artist
Caulin Donaldson (aka Trash Caulin), climate activist and creator
Sabrina Lau, graphic designer
Natalia Spotts, vintage and second-hand boutique owner
Tyler McGillivary, fashion designer and upcycler
Aditi Mayer, climate activist, photojournalist and speaker
Sinn Chhin, makeup artist and designer
Rahmir Meggett, fashion designer, entrepreneur and model
Trey Denis, Coachtopia designer
Mauricio Alvarado, Coachtopia master craftsperson
The campaign film is directed by filmmaker Adrien Lagier, and the images were shot by photographer Remi Ferrante.
Film & Photography Credits
Production House: ADEUS
Director: Adrien Lagier
Editor: Roman Lagier
Photographer: Remi Ferrante
Set Designer: Till Duca
Stylist: Max Ortega
Creative Agency: Marcel Worldwide
Building towards a better future
In the knowledge that circularity is not an end point, but a journey, Coachtopia is working iteratively to improve its processes, prioritizing progress over perfection to find new ways of reimagining waste and reducing its carbon footprint. To drive that progress and measure its impacts, Coachtopia is collaborating with partners across the industry who share its mission for driving positive change through innovation.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a non-profit committed to driving the global transition towards a circular economy and sharing learnings about its benefits for biodiversity, climate change and waste reduction. Coachtopia’s Made Circular principles have been informed by The Ellen Mac- Arthur Foundation’s vision of a circular economy for fashion where products are used more, made to be made again and made from safe and recycled or renewable inputs. Coachtopia’s parent company, Tapestry, is a Network Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
ReCircled is an innovative recycling and takeback company that helps keep pre-loved products and materials in circulation at their highest value, saving them from being sent to landfill. Coachtopia is working with ReCircled to help recycle otherwise unusable materials. For example, packaging waste and materials from unrepairable Coach products have been reimagined into new Coachtopia materials, such as the filling for the Coachtopia furniture ottomans in select stores.
Coachtopia has partnered with EON, fashion’s leading product cloud platform, to create a unique, cloud-based digital passport for each Coachtopia product, accessed via a scannable NFC chip or QR code embedded in the product. Through this partnership, Coachtopia is harnessing technological innovation to meet the need for data-driven circularity in an environment where clarity and transparency on the lifecycle of every product is increasingly vital. By connecting a product’s digital passport to their account, Coachtopia customers can access a range of circular services that will help to prolong the lifespan of their product.
Coachtopia has worked with Gen Phoenix, an innovative sustainable materials company, to develop a soft and durable uncoated leather lining, used in many Coachtopia products, made with at least 50% recycled leather scraps and 75% total recycled content. Gen Phoenix uses a patented hydroentanglement technology to create high quality materials from recycled leather waste, specifically offcuts from tanneries that might otherwise have been sent to landfill. Building on this Coachtopia partnership, Tapestry, the parent company of Coach, has invested in Gen Phoenix as part of the company’s recent funding round.
We source the minimum 95% recycled cotton fabrics for Coachtopia T-shirts and hoodies through Everywhere Apparel, a company that collects, sorts and shreds pre- and post-consumer waste materials to create new yarns and fabrics. When a piece of Coachtopia clothing is no longer usable, we plan to work with Everywhere Apparel to mechanically recycle these materials into new textiles of the same value, with the goal of working towards a closed loop system where new products are made from old.
Coachtopia has partnered with WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering, environment and professional services firms, to create an environ- mental impact calculation tool for Coachtopia.
This cradle-to-grave tool calculates both the greenhouse gas emissions of our products and the total weight of waste diverted from landfill to create them.
1% for the planet
Coachtopia* is a member of 1% for the Planet, a growing global community of businesses and individuals working together to help protect the earth. As a member, we’ve pledged to donate 1% of Coachtopia’s annual sales to verified environmental non-profit organizations working to create positive change.
*partnership with Tapestry, our parent company
Good Shipping, 3 Degrees
Coachtopia offsets the carbon emissions of its upstream and downstream shipping and freight, including eCommerce shipments to consumers, through two partnerships: Good Shipping, a company that substitutes fossil fuels in ocean freight with sustainable biofuels, a verified carbon neutral fuel option, and 3 Degrees, a company that works with brands to offset emissions through a portfolio of certified carbon emissions reductions projects.
Coachtopia is assessing the impacts of its products through a carbon footprint and waste diversion measurement tool developed in partnership with WSP, one of the world’s leading engineering, environment and professional services firms. To ensure these impacts are communicated with the utmost transparency, the brand is conducting a critical review of these metrics with three external lifecycle assessment experts—the results of which will be published in mid-2023. Coachtopia has also worked with testing and certification company SGS to conduct full lifecycle assessments of its key styles, the Ergo and the Wavy Dinky, to identify continued opportunities for reducing the impact of its products.
10 kgs CO2e created.
71% carbon reduction.
398 gs waste diverted.
Coachtopia has worked with WSP to calculate the carbon footprint of each one of its products, with the goal of reducing their overall emissions.
By repurposing materials that already exist, this product helps to avoid the creation of new materials—which accounts for 38% of fashion’s emissions. Coachtopia also works to reduce its emissions across its full value chain.
By upcyling and recycling waste that might otherwise have been sent to landfill, this product helps Coachtopia to work towards a zero-waste future.
The Reusable Store
Each Coachtopia store environment reflects the brand’s Made Circular principles, featuring fixtures made with Coach leather production waste, neon signs made from industry scraps and offcuts, hangers and trays made from recycled paper or textiles, seating made from excess materials and unrepairable Coach bags and a flexible modular design that facilitates reuse. Each store environment also reflects Coachtopia’s collaborative ethos with bespoke furniture crafted by local artists using upcycled damaged Coach products, excess Coach materials and locally salvaged materials.
To learn more about Coachtopia and its processes, visit Coachtopia.com.
To learn more about Coach’s sustainability commitments and progress, visit www.coach.com/sustainability-crafted-to-last.
To learn more about Tapestry’s sustainability commitments and progress, visit www.tapestry.com/responsibility/our-planet.
Coach is a global fashion house founded in New York in 1941. Inspired by the vision of Creative Director Stuart Vevers and the inclusive and courageous spirit of its hometown, the brand makes beautiful things, crafted to last—for you to be yourself in. Coach is a Tapestry, Inc. brand.
Tapestry is publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker TPR.
About Tapestry, Inc.
Our global house of brands unites the magic of Coach, kate spade new york and Stuart Weitzman. Each of our brands are unique and independent, while sharing a commitment to innovation and authenticity defined by distinctive products and differentiated customer experiences across channels and geographies. We use our collective strengths to move our customers and empower our communities, to make the fashion industry more sustainable, and to build a company that’s equitable, inclusive, and diverse. Individually, our brands are iconic. Together, we can stretch what’s possible. To learn more about Tapestry, please visit www.tapestry.com. The Company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TPR.
SOURCE Coach, Inc.
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/introducing-coachtopia-a-new-world-of-circular-craft-from-coach-powered-by-community-building-towards-a-better-future-for-our-planet-301802641.html
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