follow us on

EXCLUSIVE: Longchamp Jean Cassegrain Talks About Sustainability And The Le Pliage Green

In this exclusive interview, we go deep into how the iconic Longchamp Le Pliage is now both the fashionable and sustainable choice, thanks to the company’s long-standing and continuing efforts on sustainability

Introduced in 1993, Longchamp’s Le Pliage has become renowned all over the world, thanks to its simplicity and durability. Its pared-down design—a rectangle of canvas, a leather flap, a zip and a press-stud—represents an efficient, economical use of resources, resulting in an iconic bag that is built to last. 


This planet we call home, however, is on the brink of a catastrophic climate crisis (scientists estimate that we only have until 2030 to prevent irreversible and permanent damage resulting from climate change), and so the calls for sustainability are growing louder and louder. Now more than ever, corporations have the responsibility to reduce their carbon emissions in order to keep the planet habitable for future generations. 

540x540
Le Pliage Green is as durable and as lasting as its previous iterations, on top of being sustainable.

But for companies like Longchamp, which has long been a low-impact, artisanal brand of luxury goods, this is an opportunity to take their sustainability efforts one step further. The company recently unveiled Le Pliage Green, an even more sustainable option for fans of the iconic design. For the first time ever, the bag is crafted from recycled nylon—and by 2023, it is hoped that the entire Le Pliage collection transition to this sustainable textile as well. 


Le Pliage Green’s sustainability goes beyond just its primary material; the company has modified the manufacturing process to reduce the product’s overall carbon footprint—it is estimated then that the bag’s impact, measured in CO2 emissions, is six times less than a pair of jeans. 



“This simplicity is, in itself, very virtuous in terms of [its impact on the environment] because it needs very few resources,” Jean Cassegrain, President of Longchamp, tells Metro.Style. “It’s just one square of canvas, a few pieces of leather, and a zipper. That’s all. It’s hard to imagine something that would be more efficient in terms of resources and consumption.”


“But here,” he continues, “what we wanted to do is go one step further. We’ve been developing a new nylon that is the exact same quality. The beauty of this project is that the end product is the same as you have known for thirty years. To the consumer, it makes no difference in terms of durability, in terms of all the qualities you enjoy from Le Pliage.”


Longchamp Paris President Jean Cassegrain
Longchamp Paris President Jean Cassegrain


“But here,” he continues, “what we wanted to do is go one step further. We’ve been developing a new nylon that is the exact same quality. The beauty of this project is that the end product is the same as you have known for thirty years. To the consumer, it makes no difference in terms of durability, in terms of all the qualities you enjoy from Le Pliage.”


Le Pliage Green Top Handle Bag M Forest

  • Le Pliage Green Top Handle Bag M Forest


While it makes no difference to the consumer—everything looks and feels the same, and there is absolutely no difference in quality—it certainly does to the environment. “At the end of the day, the carbon impact is lower by 20 percent,” Jean explains, adding that Le Pliage, to begin with, is already a low-impact product. “We are artisans. This gives [us] the mindset of being respectful of the materials that we use. Our artisans love the materials; they love leather. They don’t want to waste any of it.”


“Le Pliage is really the heart of our collection,” Jean says. And what an iconic, beautiful bag to capture the hearts of so many—including Filipinos and the Philippines, which shares a special bond with brand, according to him. 


7 Of Heart Evangelista’s Best Designer Bags We’re Dreaming Of Right Now

RELATED STORY:

7 Of Heart Evangelista’s Best Designer Bags We’re Dreaming Of Right Now

Lead photos from Longchamp