Chanel invests in green chemistry startup

Models present creations during the 2020 Chanel Croisiere (Cruise) fashion show at the Grand Palais in Paris on May 3, 2019.

Chanel is investing in sustainability with an eco-minded startup.

The luxury fashion behemoth has taken a minority stake in Boston-based Evolved by Nature, according to multiple reports. The green chemistry company has come up with a way to use liquid silk in the creation of high-performing textiles, as a natural alternative to harsh or toxic chemicals that are often currently used in the process.

The biomaterials company is reportedly also in discussions with additional luxury brands regarding potential partnerships. "There is tremendous interest across the board from almost every segment, from luxury to performance, to home goods," Evolved by Nature CEO Greg Altman told Business of Fashion.

"This partnership will allow Chanel to explore innovative material, mechanical and optical enhancements of different fabrics, in line with Chanel's ambition of constantly creating materials of exceptional and unique quality. This investment is part of the company's strategy in investing in green technology," Chanel said in a statement, as per WWD.

The development is the latest environmentally-focused move from Chanel, which announced back in December that it was dropping exotic animal skins such as lizard, crocodile and snake skin, from its collections. Its head of fashion Bruno Pavlovsky cited the increasing difficulties in sourcing such materials ethically as the reason for the change.

Chanel's interest in a cleaner fashion production process is bang on trend -- earlier this week the clothing conglomerate Gap unveiled a plan to use only sustainable cotton by the year 2025, while May saw PVH Corp., the parent company behind Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, publicize a ‘Forward Fashion' strategy detailing targets for its business operations to generate no negative impact on the environment, use more renewable energy sources, cut waste to zero by avoiding landfill solutions and eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals in its processes. At last month's Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the tech giant Google announced a collaboration with luxury designer Stella McCartney that uses data analytics and machine learning on Google Cloud to give brands a more comprehensive view into their supply chains and allow them to more accurately measure their environmental impact.