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Over the series, as we discussed market dynamics, product strategies, customer experiences, emerging technologies, new retail channels and our imminent entry into the metaverse, the pressing need and increasing demand for systemic change to create a more sustainable industry was a consistent theme.
In this final episode of Transforming Luxury, a special six-episode series presented by Klarna, we confront the distinct uncertainty and disruption facing the luxury industry and us all, as a result of the climate crisis.
In 2020, BoF reported that the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions range from an estimated 4 percent to 10 percent of the global total. Without significant intervention, the industry will not align with global goals to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Failure to do so is predicted to have catastrophic consequences for civilisation, outlined in the UN’s IPCC report 2021.
However, if bold enough leadership is willing to reimagine how the industry operates, equipped with the deep pockets of market leaders and further enforcing the existing, rigorous quality controls already in place, luxury would be " uniquely positioned to transform itself,” as stated by SVP of supply chain innovation at the Savory Institute, Megan Meiklejohn.
To hear more about the role sustainability must play throughout the luxury goods industry, BoF gathered four global authorities to discuss how luxury can become more responsible with host Robin Mellery-Pratt.
Eileen Fisher, founder and CEO of her eponymous brand, is a pioneer in sustainable fashion. A champion of slow fashion and circular supply chains, Fisher’s Renew programme is one of the brand’s most impactful sustainable initiatives, reusing materials and turning waste into the building blocks of new products.
“We’ve really stopped to look a lot at the waste in the system, the way we deliver product into the stores, how we create. We’re more committed to timeless design and not just in the clothes themselves, but in our business model.”
Megan Meiklejohn is the senior vice president of supply chain innovation in the Land to Market Program for the Savory Institute. The non-profit focuses on accelerating the use of regeneratively grown materials, operating across six continents. Prior to her work at the Savory Institute, Meiklejohn helped cultivate Eileen Fisher’s sustainability practices and worked in product sustainability at Ralph Lauren.
“Rather than just designing products, we need to design the supply chains that we wish to see, because if we create a product and then try to look back and uncover that traceability, it’s oftentimes quite literally impossible.”
Daniela Ott is the General Secretary of the Aura Blockchain Consortium — the blockchain solution for luxury customer experience, and collaborative initiative between LVMH, Prada Group and Richemont. Ott has over 20 years of experience in luxury, working at Kering for over 13 years and as CEO of Tomas Maier during that time.
“I’m convinced that collaboration today is essential and, whether it’s tackling the pandemic or the global climate challenge, I think we will see collaboration be really at the heart of business going forward.”
Gail Gallie is the co-founder of not-for-profit creative communications agency Project Everyone and founder of Project 17, which helps brands, businesses and the investment sector adhere to the United Nations’ Global Goals. Gallie was marketing director at the BBC for 10 years before co-founding Project Everyone — the initiative that launched the Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of the United Nations.
“If the fashion industry could stop trying to do less harm and really gear itself up to be nature-positive, then I think it would be a step change in positive impact, because fashion is fashion — other people would follow.”
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