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Longchamp moves towards sustainability with the launch of Le Pliage® Green

It is not a bag. It is Le Pliage®.

Le Pliage® has been on the arms of many since its introduction in 1993. Undoubtedly, the bag has reached celebrity status. Many would call Le Pliage® a staple, but some would declare it as a collector’s item, with so many limited-edition colours, designs and collaborations to own and collect throughout the years. Its timeless features of rectangle canvas, leather flap, zip and press-stud have made the bag a recognisable statement piece. It is universal, colourful, versatile and customisable. Now, a new term has been added and that is ‘sustainable’.

Sustainability is not new to the brand. It started with the introduction of recycled polyester canvas and ECONYL®-certified recycled polyamide (nylon) canvas in 2019 and 2020 with My Pliage® Signature and Green District lines. If you have forgotten, My Pliage® Signature is series of customizable bags by Longchamp which allows the customers to create and design their very own Pliage®. Choose either a shoulder bag, travel bag or top-handle bag, pick a main colour out of 20 available options, followed by the colour of the leather trimmings, zipper puller and snap button. You can also choose up to three initials to be printed on the bag.

The launch of Le Pliage® Green would be the biggest sustainable step for Longchamp in 2021. The bag is made with recycled nylon, from a range of sources including fishing nets, carpets, pre-consumer waste from articles such as nylon stockings, and offcuts from textile production. This transition also marks the start of Longchamp‘s motive of using responsible material throughout the entire Le Pliage® collection by 2022.

Longchamp’s Le Pliage® Green will be available in 10 different styles with four nature-inspired colour variants; Forest, Ocean, Earth and limited-edition Snow. The collection is distinguished from the original by small discreet details — such as the Longchamp racehorse embroidered on the top right of the bag and light green edges at each end of the zip closure. Each is made to last, as always with any Longchamp products.

This recycled nylon is no different; offering the same level of durability, look, feel and properties such as being waterproof, washable and foldable, like the original. Even if it gets worn around the edges after years of use, Longchamp’s in-house service is available to repair them. A bag that is truly timeless, Longchamp proudly exclaims the Le Pliage® Green as “an evolution, rather than a revolution”.

A grand entrance

Le Pliage® is reintroduced in a series of videos; a new advertising campaign that showcases the multiple facets of its enduring influence. From dancing to horse riding, the tone of the video is very much light-hearted and in line with the collection’s sense of humour.

Made with recycled fabric, Le Pliage® Green is more than just a bag as highlighted on one of its campaign videos featuring an elegant women picking up a discarded red plastic bottle and putting it in a pink recycling bin. The message is sustainable-forward and a fashionable way to represent the importance of recycling especially in the fashion world.

Longchamp’s sustainable footsteps

If you’re very much into recycling and supports the notion of sustainability, Longchamp’s Le Pliage® Green takes you on the right path. Not just recycled nylon, each component of Le Pliage® Green has been carefully designed and crafted to meet Longchamp’s quality and sustainability standard. The bag’s impact now (measured in CO2 emissions) is six times less than a pair of jeans. The recycled polyamide canvas used for Le Pliage® Green has Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certification and contains between 70% and 100% recycled fibres. The inside of the bag has a phthalate-free PVC coating to preserve its durability.

The “Russian leather” has always been a signature of Le Pliage® since its inception. It is cowhide leather, a by-product of the food industry. Longchamp’s partner tanneries are also audited by the Leather Working Group (LWG) and its certification is based on factors of environmental performance including water and energy consumption and waste treatment. Currently, 90% of the leather used for Le Pliage® Green comes from these tanneries and the brand’s goal is to increase this proportion to 100% by 2023. It is also important to highlight that Longchamp has not used exotic leathers or fur in its collections since 2018.

The backpack and travel bag from the same collection come with a shoulder strap that is derived mainly from plastic bottles, comprising 100% recycled fibres. The zip tapes and thread, which are used with the Longchamp racehorse logo embroidery, are made with similar recycled polyester, containing 90% recycled fibres. The minimal hardware that is on the bag contains a substantial proportion of recycled metal, 30% for the bag’s signature brass press-stud.

Not just the bag, the packaging of Le Pliage® Green are improvised to be even more sustainable. The bags are transported in recycled polyethylene, with recycled paper labels. Customers who buys them in store, the bags will be sold in fully recyclable paper bags certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as sourced from sustainably managed forests.

To reduce CO2 emissions, the Longchamp workshops are designed to maximise the benefits of natural lighting, and the heating and air-conditioning solutions are put in a place to limit energy usage. The ones in France are equipped with energy-efficient LED lighting, while its stores are gradually converting. Understanding that transportation remains one of the major sources of CO2 emissions, Longchamp prioritises sea transport. Shipowner Neoline steps in as an ecological maritime transport between Saint-Nazaire and Baltimore with a sail-powered vessel that enables savings between 80 and 90% of the usual fuel consumption.

Sustainability is not new to this family-owned business. Throughout the years, several efforts have been made to protect the environment and Le Pliage® Green is one of them.

Le Pliage® Green represents the culmination of Longchamp’s efforts to source sustainable alternatives to its hard-wearing nylon canvas. The brand has then continued to commit to only use exclusively recycled canvas in all of the products by 2023.

Longchamp’s new Le Pliage® advertising campaign will debut on social media and longchamp.com on 20th July 2021. Le Pliage® Green launches worldwide on the same day supported by pop-ups in select boutiques and window displays across all retail locations. To get your hands on the new Le Pliage® Green collection, head over to the e-commerce site now. And while you’re at it watch the campaign video below.

Photos and videos: Longchamp

Jolin Lee
Contributor
Unlike most modern-day millennials, Jolin does not need caffeine or alcohol to power through the day (and night). Her eye for beauty is as sharp as her eyeliner flick, and she can spot your unblended eye makeup from a mile away.