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The House of LR&C Discusses SDGs at United Nations Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network Meeting

By Alexandra Pastore,

Executives from the House of LR&C discussed sustainability at the United Nations. Lisa Kato.

The United Nations Conscious Fashion and Lifestyle Network hosted its annual meeting, co-convened by the Fashion Impact Fund and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, on June 1, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The event was attended by more than 150 industry stakeholders, United Nations representatives and members of the media to discuss actions, solutions and progress and advance knowledge to strengthen engagement to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals.

The meeting began with a brief but powerful statement from Annemarie Hou, executive director of the United Nations office for partnerships, who addressed the “most fashionable crowd at the UN” who she urged to “make a fashion statement today.”

“We want the world to take notice,” Hou said. “We want the world to take action. The presence of so many powerful voices and influencers here gives me huge hope that the industry can become part of the solution.”

In a conversation led by Kaley Roshitsh, sustainability editor at WWD, executives from the House of LR&C, including the company’s cofounder, Ciara, its chief sustainability officer and chief operation officer, Therese Hayes, and its chief commercial officer and chief marketing officer, Janelle Shiplett.

Notably, House of LR&C was created in 2020, by Ciara and Russell Wilson who brought a love for design and fashion to retail expert Christine Day. Together the team has fostered an inclusive community with the goals of doing good for the planet while democratizing retail and working to redefine the way the fashion industry works. The House of LR&C has quickly earned myriad sustainability credentials including becoming a B Corp.

Sharing the importance of the company’s name which stands for love, respect and care, Ciara stressed the importance of leading with those sentiments as she entered the space saying she and Wilson strongly believe in the power of words. To her, love, respect and care go hand in hand with sustainability for an organization and, in launching the brand, the team wanted to be able to have a big impact on the planet and be able to stand firmly in those beliefs.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything that we did,” Shiplett said. “It’s the purpose of the business. We started by saying ‘fashion is fantastic’ but everybody in this room knows that what the world needs is not necessarily just another fashion brand, but a brand that’s really dedicating itself to doing fashion in different ways.”
Grammy Award-winning singer, entrepreneur and philanthropist Ciara Lisa Kato.

Sustainability goals were set from the very beginning with three key actions. First, House of LR&C established itself as a public benefits company so that no matter what happens in the administration of the business, the company will always be dedicated to this bottom line. Second, the company put policies in place in the way in which it would work with partners and the community for how products are made. And last, sustainability was directed at the company rather than a department, giving every person a sustainability goal tied to their performance in the company.

“What this does is attract the kinds of people to the company who are dedicated to this,” Shiplett said. “It’s very difficult to do something and then have to go redo it to make it sustainable so we started from the beginning.”

With so many ongoing challenges for brands and consumers in advancing SDGs, Ciara said she’s seen that the journey is not a short race, it’s a marathon. “I really encourage you to begin the game. Every little bit makes a difference and every little bit counts. They are all coming together for what is going to be a better place. Have love for yourself, love those around you and the people around you in your community and everything that you do in your process and we’ll all be a much better place.”

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