In a world where wastage becomes a crime, the consumer is more and more sensitive to the efforts brands put into their product manufacturing, and even after the sale is done. It becomes harder and harder to waist something in the garbage bin and while the whole world is focusing on single usage plastics, there is a tremendous amount of other things we can throw away. From clothes to shoes, electronics…. the average person has more than doubled its contribution to the garbage. This is where luxury goods can play an interesting role in fighting wastage. Here are three key points that show how luxury goods can defend the planet.
1- A True Luxury Item Is Produced Within Respectful Working Conditions
We tend to ask ourselves what is good for the planet. We might also ask ourselves what is good for humanity. The 20th century allowed the victory of Capitalism as the main economic model and unfortunately, not everything could be called progress. in the logic to produce at the lowest cost and to sell at the highest price, workers end up being squeezed. Delocalization also allowed brands to produce where the working mass is the cheapest.
Luxury brands tend to less delocalize than mass-market ones. Generally know-how and quality are key and these are hardly “delocalizable“. If we choose industries like high-end watchmaking or luxury fashion, these products tend to be more European focused. Therefore, brands from these industries have no interest to build their facilities in Asia or Central America. The challenge to delocalize the know-how is to complex to bear.
In this case, products will be manufactured in due respect to the local working conventions, which means generally a fair deal for the worker. Customers will pay a higher price but the quality is something you pay for. Luxury brands have also lead the way in terms of sourcing their materials the best they could and try to respect the universal human rights chart all the way. No human slavery, no children at work, and no dark origins for
2- Luxury products reconnects with strong human values like heritage, know-how and hard-work.
Another interesting point about luxury is the fact that these products connect with strong human values like heritage, know-how, and hard work. These values are important cement of our contemporary society. Heritage drives people to think about the past and the roots that brought us all to this point in history. By pursuing the continuation of certain businesses, it does maintain alive certain traditions and even a strong local connection among people.
When Chanel and Dior maintain certain fields of jasmine and Rose up and running in the South of France, not only these brands guarantee the highest quality materials in their fragrances but above all, they maintain alive a local tradition of many centuries.
When J.M. Weston keeps its factory still in Limoges, the French luxury shoe brand maintains alive a strong tradition of leather craftsmanship that exists in the region for many, many years. When Swiss watch-makers remain truthful to their origins and maintain their manufactures in the original places when the businesses were born, it does show the importance of heritage.
“There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness” – Matahma Gandhi
By giving importance to know-how, it does provide extra value to the working hours put into the manufacturing of luxury products. It reconnects customers with amazing historical heritage and the end customer does value this emotional and physical connection. When a client visits a Louis Vuitton store in Paris and purchases a monogrammed leather bag, (s)he definitely connects his(her) own story to the brand heritage and even a country history. Going to London and purchasing the famous iconic Burberry trench-coat, do put yourself in a certain storyline. Therefore, we talk about values and legacy. It also allows giving a higher value to the workforce that unfortunately saw its value diminish with the development of globalization.
By placing the craftsmanship at the heart of every luxury business, allows us to write with golden letters the story of women and men who create, cut, sculpt, sew and distill the luxury products of today and tomorrow.
3- Let’s Focus on Luxury that lasts
While a lot of luxury imagery relates to sparkles,
When it comes to a product that lasts, the world champion, all categories, are high-end Swiss luxury watches. It can be a Patek Philippe, a Rolex, a Tag Heuer, or even a Hublot. There are certain elements that show this luxury watch is a great acquisition to respect the planet:
- The watch has generally a mechanical movement. No lithium batteries which is safer for the planet
- It is manufactured with no solvents nor glue, which makes it free from fossil-fuels.
- Most of the time, precious materials are sourced away from war zones.
- The watch will probably last for multiple generations
- Everything is repairable in a high-end mechanical watch (brands can keep up to 50 to 80 years of spare pieces in stock.
Aston Martin is an icon of its time. Every single car is built by hand in England. Everything is done to make robust cars that last. Out of the 80’000 vehicles built since the British brand inception back in 1913, 95% are still in the market place with a large majority still driving around. This shows the dedication of the British company. When we compare with most of the modern car companies, after 6 years, you have so many challenges with the car that you end up buying a new one. Luxury cars are not made in a short-term model.
Berluti shoes are also another interesting example. With a good pair of Berluti shoes, you can redo them a dozen times completely, which extends considerably
In conclusion, a luxury product that is made in respect of social conventions, built from ethical and sustainable materials and that can be repaired eternally (or almost) is a great addition to your wardrobe. On top of it, if this product also educates you on the history of your country or on the history of the world, it is also doing something greater than its own perimeter. After this article, you might see luxury products from a different angle, made of know-how and respect.
Information sourced by the author for luxuryactivist.com. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. Images are for illustration purposes only.