We’ve all heard of the wide-reaching and damaging effects of cheap, fast fashion; the quicker clothes are made, the more rapid the pollution and the faster they all end up in landfills, leaking out chemicals and harming our precious eco-system.
Luxury brands may well be the answer if we were to take into consideration the high quality and less waste from smaller, concise seasonal collections, but even that is no longer deemed enough for the growing demands from eco-conscious millennials and Gen-Z consumers who now expect to see a sustainable thread woven into a brand’s mission. A mission that is authentic and will bring change, not one that will pass us by like a runway trend.
One iconic brand that has taken its sustainable practices seriously over the past two decades is Tiffany & Co. It has raised the bar with a commitment of 100 per cent transparency on where its diamonds come from. “There should be nothing opaque about Tiffany diamonds”, said CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo this year of the brand that has just been bought by LVMH. “Our clients want and deserve to know where their most valuable, most cherished diamond jewellery is from, and how it came to be.”
Tiffany’s commitment to diamond traceability, along with being one of the first big jewellery players to source metals and diamonds from responsible mining companies has earned it a “Strong” ranking from the Human Rights Watch – the only jeweller to earn such a designation. It hasn’t stopped there; the diamond dealer’s philanthropic efforts are worth noting too; millions of dollars have been raised for the Save The Wild charity, while ongoing efforts for coral conservation are still underway. It has added special LED lighting to boutiques to reduce energy and supports women’s empowerment with more than 60 per cent female employees within the company.
#StanSmith 2.0 Sneakers, Dhs1,110 Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney – the first-ever luxury vegetarian brand – has been on a quest to design the future of clothing and steer consumers into a more sustainable way of buying since the launch of her namesake brand in 2001. This season, she joins forces with adidas once again to create the Stella #StanSmith 2.0 for both men and women that are leather-free and made using completely vegan materials.
Bag, Dhs5,693 Prada
The Italians are stepping up to the plate too, with Prada’s new sustainable line of Re-Nylon bags made from, ECONYL®, a fabric created from waste – a niche agenda which will hopefully feed into the rest of the collections along with the brand’s aim to become fur-free from SS20.
Coat, Dhs21,500 Gucci
Other notable efforts come from Gucci, with the Gucci Equilibrium platform “designed to connect people, planet and purpose” which is a part of its 10-year sustainability plan that covers no fur, a scrap-less leather scheme, a mission of 100 per cent traceable sustainable raw materials by 2025 and their recent achievement of becoming 100 per cent carbon neutral, which lead Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri to personally invite other CEOs in the luxury sector “to come together in the CEO Carbon Neutral challenge.”
There’s little doubt that where one successful brand goes, others will follow.
From Harper's BAZAAR Arabia's December 2019 Issue