Luxury and Durability:
a common future?
If we've learned anything from the past few months, it's that when we take care of the world, it heals. We are slowly becoming aware of the effects of our actions on the environment. Consumers' awareness pushes the producer to do the same. A study has shown that the majority of our generation (more than 70%) are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable or socially responsible brand. Brands are taking a step in the right direction:
One of the biggest watch brands, Rolex, is contributing to change by creating its “Rolex Award for Enterprise. »The luxury watch brand awards a large cash award to entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 for innovative projects focused on improving life on the planet, providing solutions to major challenges and preservation of our natural and cultural heritage.
In their early forties, the Pangaia brand started a new trend on social media: tracksuits. Celebrities, bloggers, tiktokers, everyone is tearing their clothes off. What makes this brand so special? Apart from the fact that they sell the tracksuits, which have become the quarantine uniform, the most important thing is that they are doing everything to help solve an environmental problem. From the dye and materials they use for these garments to the packaging of these products, everything is sustainable.
In recent years, second-hand stores have seen strong demand. Famous second-hand luxury retailers such as RealReal and Vestiaire Collective allow you to sell your second-hand items online. After purchasing an item, it is first sent to the retailer's factory for authenticity check, and then, once approved, it is finally sent to the buyer. This approach not only makes it possible to buy an item at an affordable price but also contributes to the environment by reducing C02 emissions and waste.
Another example would be Farfetch, one of the biggest online shopping sites. Farfetch announced its collaboration with Thrift + last year, an on-demand donation service for second-hand clothing. Buyers can order a Thrift + x Farfetch donation bag and the proceeds are donated to charity and given to the customer in the form of Farfetch credit.
Brands can try to change things individually, but signing a common contract to help the environment will have a greater effect.
The 'fashion pact' is a global coalition of companies in the fashion industry and these suppliers and distributors, all committed to a common core of key environmental goals in three areas: stopping global warming, restoring biodiversity, and reduce the dumping of plastics in the world's oceans. Brands such as Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Hermès, and many others have signed this contract.
Fast fashion vs the luxury industry
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of humanity's carbon emissions. It takes about 2,000 gallons of water to produce jeans. This amount of water would allow a person to drink 8 glasses of water per day for ten years. The dyeing process uses enough water to fill 2 million Olympic-size swimming pools each year. These are just a few numbers, but overall, the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world.
Even though the fashion industry, in general, is a problem, fast fashion brands are responsible for most of this pollution.
Although fast fashion is not going away anytime soon, the change in consumer education could allow for improvement as the producer is forced to adapt to the consumer. Ultimately, consumers can help dictate the direction the industry takes based on their purchases.
Fast fashion brands keep producing and can't seem to hit the "stop" button. Conversely, brands in the luxury industry, such as Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani, are taking a step in the right direction by deciding to reduce their number of collections per year, which will reduce the amount of waste produced.
Quality rather than quantity is what we have to learn.
Sustainability and luxury are both focused on rarity and beauty. Fast fashion brands are starting to take luxury brands as an example. By 2029, we hope that second-hand retailers will take the place of fast fashion, which will allow us to have access to items at a more affordable price while helping to preserve our planet.