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Luxury, Sustainability, PPR & Chanel

Mar. 31st, 2011 | Comments 3 | Make a Comment   
Following the recent success of the Sustainability Forum in Lausanne, and the announcement of strategic and philanthropic commitments to the environment by key luxury players, the industry is somewhat re-focusing on the longevity of the planet and their business.

Chanel announced the launch of their Winted software, developed alongside Evea, for the use of packaging companies operating in the cosmetic market, to help implement eco-design practices and facilitate the development of more environmentally friendly solutions. Michel Dupuis, director of purchasing and packaging development strategy, explained to Premium Beauty News that the initiative was born from a 2007 evaluation of the division?s carbon footprint, where it was revealed that "products packaging represented half our emissions." Which was then "followed by such items as logistics/shipping/freight and just after by the transport of people" after purchase.

The program "offers both a technical approach on design and an overall view of results obtained through innovations and packaging enhancements. It helps better understand the origin of environmental impacts and presents areas of improvement. It addresses eco-design issues throughout the whole development process."

In an uncharacteristic move for a luxury brand, the technology is available for free for the entire industry, in keeping with the greater-good nature of the project: "It appeared normal to us to make this tool available for everyone, knowing that it was an immediate and practical contribution that our group could bring to this great global cause which is the preservation of our environment."

Also in France, PPR and in-so-facto the Gucci Group, announced a €10 million per year sustainability initiative titled PPR Home, described by CEO Francois-Henri Pinault as the "group?s contribution to a better world, by developing innovative and sustainable initiatives for our different economic models that rely on our creativity and our imagination in order to influence our lifestyles and inspire others to follow us in the long term."

According to WWD, the group will launch a ?Creative Sustainability Lab? in partnership with Cradle to Cradle, focusing on developing products and retail pilots that integrate and apply objectives such as environmental and social concerns for PPR?s luxury labels. PPR also announced the intention to completely offset carbon dioxide emissions generated in 2010 by PPR?s luxury group, Puma and PPR?s headquarters, evaluated at 98,729 tons, through the purchase of carbon credits from San Francisco-based company Wildlife Works? Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) offsetting project in Kenya.

The group also announced the upcoming publication of what it claims to be the world?s first environmental profit and loss statement for Puma, as a first step in evaluating the full environmental impact of its entire activities and suppliers. Newly appointed PPR chief sustainability officer, Jochen Zeitz, told WWD that PPR Home will employ approximately 15 people full time, alongside consultants, with the first targets and outcomes to be announced in October.



Finally, Giorgio Armani turned his focus on World Water Day on March 22nd, to announce his partnership with Geneva based Green Cross International with a goal to promote clean drinking water for people in need.

In an industry prone to significant levels of water wastage, in the production, coloration and treatment of fabrics, the International Business Times noted "a dramatic change in the way materials are being used for crafting designer clothes and accessories.

Ancient concepts of eco-friendly textile being shapeless and ill fitting are gone with designers finding increasing interest in materials like sea leather and fine organic wovens. Environment-conscious fashion shows like Future Fashion and the Portland Fashion Week provide fashion enthusiasts a unique opportunity to be thrilled by sustainable creations from the likes of Versace, Bottega Veneta and Givenchy."

Alexander Likhotal, President of Green Cross International, spoke of the partnership: ?This is not another ?feel good? campaign but a practical step to help make the Right to Water a reality?. For every bottle of Acqua Di Giò and Acqua Di Gioia sold, Armani will provide 100 litres of clean drinking water per year to children and their communities, raising consumer awareness through the Acqua For Life campaign.
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3 Comments on this Article

Laura Bozzano commented on April 13, 2011

The different initiatives and programs described in the article can also be seen as a marketing tool to increase a brand's visibility without undermining the product's exclusive image. By Montse Adam, Jeff Carrol and Laura Bozzano, IE Business School, Sustainable Luxury and Designe Module, MBA 2011

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Sustainable Luxury and Design MBA Modul commented on April 13, 2011

This point is particularly relevant because it would point out at a new macro trend, where luxury brands go a step beyond: not only promoting arts and philanthropy but also convey values such as sustainability. On the other hand, one could also argue that companies are using these initiatives secretly hoping that their customers will feel a deeper emotional link with the brand. Unlike other products, the market for luxury goods is not based on rational consumption patterns.Instead, this type of customer looks for a dream, for a social status, an aspiration. traditional marketing strategies aimed at increasing sales (and brand value) would be counterproductive in the case of luxury brands: an increase in volume translates into a loss of exclusivity. A luxury strategy is not a volume strategy. In line with this idea, the so-called anti-laws of luxury marketing tell us that the goal of advertisement is not to sell but to recreate a dream.

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Sustainable Luxury and Design MBA Modul commented on April 13, 2011

A great article outlining how luxury companies can and are increasing their appeal and value proposition by finding more ethical ways to do business. Responsible business practices need not be merely a Public Relations tactic or an activity disjointed from core business strategy. Channel and PPR have shown us how responsible business practices can be core to corporate strategy and add value to product offerings. Chanel's development of software to help design environmentally friendly packaging shows us how a focus on responsible businesses practices can actually help derive new ideas and internal skills. Additionally this particular initiative, Winted software, has helped promote inter-industry communication.PPR's efforts to develop the world's first environmental P&L statement shows us how innovation can be delivered outside of the product and promotional sphere, building stakeholder value through CSR communication. By Montse Adam

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