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After recently publishing an article on the sustainable fashion of the royal family, I discovered the royal family excellent role models of how to champion sustainable fashion in the public eye. However, I also discovered something far more unexpected. I learned that Prince Charles, the Queen’s 73 year old son, has been pushing for the mainstream spread of sustainable fashion for decades.

The Prince has always made it clear he believes sustainable living is the way forward; his country home in in Carmarthenshire, Wales is heated via an eco-friendly wood-chip boiler, and utilises rainwater facilities to propagate its central vegetable garden. Not to mention, he has been sporting a sustainable wardrobe for years; openly broadcasting his belief in up cycling, and mending clothing, rather than simply throwing away and purchasing new garments. In fact, he even wore a 36-year old coat to his son Prince Harry’s wedding.

Image Courtesy of Vanity Fair

Beyond his personal lifestyle choices, the Prince has pushed forward sustainable fashion by launching a number of sustainability initiatives over many years of work. So much so, in 2017, he was awarded The GCC Global Leader of Change Award for his outstanding contribution to global environmental preservation and protection.

Showing he aims to stay at the forefront of the fight for sustainable fashion, he recently appointed the founder of Yoox Net-a-Porter, Federico Marchetti, to be the head of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Task Force on Fashion, who in 2021, launched the Digital ID. This ID is traceability technology, accessed via QR code or NFC (like Apple Pay), that tracks a fashion item from production to resale. Through this global identification system for apparel products in the circular economy, resellers and recyclers can access, identify and share essential product and material information.

Image Courtesy of Evening Standard

By scanning clothing garments on a phone to view their Digital ID, people are able to see exactly what materials it is made from, as well as where they were sourced. Not only does this technology allow consumers to make more conscious fashion purchasing decisions, it allows fashion companies to offer transparency to their market; boosting trust between the seller and buyer, as well as enhancing brand loyalty.

As well as the Digital ID, his collaboration with Yoox Net-a-Porter has also led to the launch of The Modern Artisan; a capsule collection of sustainable fashion created by a group of trainee fashion students. His vision behind the collection, was to enable young designers to be given the opportunity to produce sustainable garments at Dumfries House, to develop their skills, and encourage the wider popularity of eco-friendly fashion.

Image Courtesy of MrPorter

For over 50 years, the Prince has voiced his belief in the potential, and the benefits of living sustainably. Not only has he mirrored this in his own wardrobe choices, and lifestyle, but he has also launched a range of forward thinking initiatives, aimed at garnering wider awareness, and encouragement, of sustainable fashion. While he may be most well known for his royal status, the Prince of Wales should also be given rightly earned appreciation for his work supporting sustainability.