Spanish fast-fashion brand Mango is taking steps to educate its employees about the tenets of sustainability.
The group has inked a deal with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Centro Superior de Diseño de Moda, or the Technical University of Madrid Fashion Design Center (CSDMM-UPM), to train more than 250 employees including designers and product developers in areas like circular design, preferred fibers and sustainable production processes. Mango said it aims to bring its team up to speed when it comes to recycling and circularity, green materials and certifications and labeling.
Mango and the CSDMM-UPM are developing the curriculum, which will run throughout 2024. The partners have pulled together sector experts like Luis Barros Presedo, sustainability director of the FNO Project and authority in sustainable development and supply chains, as well as environmental consultant and founder of the Slow Fashion Next training platform Gemma Gómez. Mercedes Rodríguez, assistant director and professor at CSDMM-UPM, will also lead training sessions, which will include lectures, informal talks and roundtable discussions. Sustainability consultant for multinational brands Luis Barros Presedo, eco-design afficionado Román Padín and purchasing, production and business development leader Tania Rodríguez will also contribute to the program.
The partnership is part of Mango’s strategy to establish alliances with leading academic institutions engaged in sustainable advancement, as well as its ongoing goal to provide employees with professional development opportunities. The learnings gleaned from the program with CSDMM-UPM will help advance the firm’s sustainability strategy, it said. Last year, nearly 15,500 Mango employees received almost 365,000 hours of training through courses facilitated by the company.
“For us, it is an honor to establish an alliance with the Centro Superior de Diseño de Moda de Madrid, a leading institution in the fashion industry with an extensive knowledge of sustainability,” sustainability and sourcing director Andrés Fernández said this week. “I am convinced that with their expertise we will advance towards a more sustainable collection, reduce our impact on the planet and improve our impact on society.”
UPM dean Guillermo Cisneros said the university hopes to improve the industry and society at large through the transfer of knowledge to the next generation of professionals. “To achieve this, we promote alliances with engineering, architecture, sport and fashion institutions and enterprises, and in this specific case, with Mango,” he explained. Cisneros said the partnership is “an excellent opportunity to continue to work closely with industry and lead social change from a sector such as fashion, which is so important for our country.”
The university has spent 35 years educating students about fashion design and development, but “Sustainability is now a requirement of the sector,” CSDMM-UPM director Guillermo García-Badell added. “We work with the major groups in the sector and the fact that Mango is now counting on our experience to face this challenge motivates us to maintain our commitment to innovation and research.”
Mango believes the program could represent an important differentiator when it comes to talent acquisition. Global director of talent and organizational development Leila Rettali said training “is part of our strategy to attract and retain talent at Mango.” The group has been recognized for “having an attractive and differentiated value proposition, which we want to continue to promote, based on our company values, training and development, remuneration and benefits for our employees.”