“Alarming report from Greenpeace : the textile industry is responsible for the pollution of 70% of China’s surface water, and the textile microfiber in the oceans would represent the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles” as we can read in the “nouvel Obs”.
“Among those who do not produce in France, despite delusional prices, the lack of control over the way employees are treated in factories, those who stitch motives to Indian tribes … We have the feeling that the brands do not respect us more” 45 years old, a legal assistant, a long-time customer of these products for “Le Parisien”.
As we can see, sustainable development is at the heart of current issues. Luxury brands are just as touched as any field regarding sustainability. Currently, a level of luxury demand in terms of ecology and sustainable development is developing to the maximum. “Ethical dress” became the ultimate goal for luxury brands, and they soon realized that it was necessary to go into this fashion to avoid worries or global scandals.
And if to live, the luxury brand was automatically passed by the ethical and sustainable?
The definition of the purchase of luxury has changed. When we bought a luxury item, we wanted to show our power, our wealth, our success; nowadays customers have another desire: to reflect their thoughts of a better world and that automatically goes on the sustainable and ethical side.
But this surge of demand is not without reason, the arrival of millennials is one of the main causes of this rise of “ecology”. This generation from the 80s is more demanding on the origins of products and require more and more certifications to have a guarantee on this manufacture. It is also a generation more hedonistic. All of these people are committed to spending more on the product if they can be sure of traceability as can be seen from a study conducted by the World Luxury Trends in 2017.
Customers want to be able to continue to consume luxury without causing harm to the earth as well as employees producing this luxury.
This momentum is still partial and difficult to impose in the luxury brands. Thanks to social networks, we face a real movement of change because these brands are afraid of the scandal particularly because of the investment of PETA in denunciation of mistreatment for fur. As a result, brands are taking the lead and will therefore try to follow “good behavior” as can be seen with Stella McCartney with her “regenerated” cashmere produced from many factory cashmere falls.
“Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”, and if Lavoisier perfectly represented this concept of sustainability for luxury brands?
Many brands have followed this trend, such as Brunello Cucinelli with the traceability of their cashmere.
It has also been seen through Kering, Galeries Lafayette or LVMH with their “Go For Good” initiative, which have included a “Sustainable Development” department in their companies. They will therefore set up new production methods such as an eco-friendly textiles library at Kering to work with leather made from mushrooms.
In addition, other brands have chosen to remove the fur from their collections as Armani, followed by Gucci who announced his rally to the “Fur Free Alliance” in 2016. The goal for Gucci is to attract more millennials thanks to this attachment for animals.
In this momentum Tesla, the famous car brand, only offers vegan leather for the development of cars.
H&M follows this trend with its line “Conscious” recycled materials but also a sewing workshop dedicated to the repair of textiles. Beside them their biggest competitor C&A has already incorporated this trend for a long time as the largest consumer of organic cotton in the world with their jeans to global standards: Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Cradle to Cradle (concept of environmental ethics) .
Luxury hotels are also following suit like “Soneva Fushi” in the Maldives with their sustainable development approach: no plastic bottles, recycling of all waste, compost…
Their “Stay for Good” program commits customers to give 5 hours a day of their time to support sustainable development in exchange for 5 nights.
In addition, more prestigious brands such as Hermès are keeping pace with their decrease in water consumption for dyeing their scarves, iconic object of the brand. In addition Hermès also creates a line “Petit H” dedicated only to the recycling of their falls.
Could this idea of using tissue scrapes bring out a new trend?
This can be seen in particular with the principle of “upcycling”. It is about recovering existing tissue. The goal is to create a product from this, giving a superior quality to the original. This trend is increasingly adopted by the creators and represents a good option for this sustainable development.
We will soon see how this trend is taking shape and the many brands that have already adopted it.
We’d love to hear about your favorite sustainable luxury brands! Share them in commentary!