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Sustainability & Luxury: An Integral Partnership

According to recent statistics, 60% of consumers state they would disengage from a brand they had been transacting with for 10+ years if they were presented with an emerging brand with stronger modern values [1].

The pressure to be more transparent, inclusive and ethical is not only imperative to emerging companies but luxury powerhouses at the top of the consumer food-chain. Kering, the leading luxury conglomerate with names such as GUCCI and BALENCIAGA were one of the first to release their promise to sustainability with their detailed report [Crafting tomorrows Luxury] [2].

"Luxury & Sustainability are one the same" - Francois-Henri Pinault, Kering, Chairman & CEO

Luxury Jewellery trend-setter Tiffany & Co. equally "set their standards for excellence" in regards to their contributions to sustainability. After coming under scrutiny for their clarity on End to End sourcing, Tiffany boldly stated 100% of rough diamonds were sourced either directly from a known mine or from a supplier with a limited number of known mines in 2017 [3].

"There is no greater luxury than being able to gift future generations with unspoiled natural wonders and wide-open opportunity" - Alessandro Bogliolo Tiffany & Co. Chief Executive Officer

The provenance of luxury products across beauty, leather goods and jewellery is at the forefront of gen-Z & Millennial shopping habits, and is equally rubbing off on elder consumers. Demonstrating ethical and environmental awareness has shifted from cloying, to credible, to critical [4]. A noteworthy 73% of Millennial's are willing to pay more for sustainable goods in comparison to 66% of the global consumer [4].

Is sustainable actually sustainable?

Ironically a wave of brands appear to be incorporating the tag 'Eco' to a product whilst being encased in heavy plastic packing -quite the oxymoron. Savvy customers demand more than a simplistic solution to a complex problem.

Consumers & Brands can no longer rely on wilful blindness in regards to sustainability & climate change.We are in a state of climate & biodiversity loss emergency [5] In order to reverse the damage of 2 generations Luxury Leaders must begin to pave the way for a industry that is just as sustainable as it is rare and exquisite.

"Luxury needs to maintain elegant simplicity & purpose, it needs to be beautiful, enduring, well-made and sustainable. There is no luxury on a dying planet" - Ed Gillespie, Inspirational Speaker

Powerhouse Brands & Emerging Start-ups within the Luxury sector whether trading Fine Jewellery, Apparel, Leather Goods, Fragrances, Travel, must begin to incorporate sustainability & transparent provenance, whilst still maintaining rarity, elegance and simplicity.

After all, "There is no wealth but life" [6].