The fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits in environmental degradation and climate change, with millions of garments ending up in landfill each year and a slew of unsustainable practices in supply chains. But it has always been hard to decide who to put the onus on – companies or consumers. Positive Luxury are helping to squash the debate by suggesting that the responsibility lies with both parties – companies should strive to be sustainable and consumers should aim to seek out products only from sustainable brands. They are doing this with a simple butterfly mark.
Founded by global sustainability expert Diana Verde Nieto and entrepreneur Karen Hanton MBE, Positive Luxury focuses on tackling sustainability issues such as working conditions in the supply chain, the use of animal skins, phasing out micro-plastics and animal testing, and ingredients sourcing across the fashion, beauty, jewellery, living, premium drinks and hospitality sectors within the luxury industry.
They award a butterfly mark to “brands for their measurable impact and commitment to sustainability”. Aiming to have an impact similar to that of the Fairtrade mark, the butterfly mark acts as a signifier to consumers letting them know that the brand they are buying from has passed assessment over five key areas: governance (diversity & inclusion, commitment to UN global goals), social performance framework (no child or forced labour, reasonable working hours and fair pay), environmental performance framework (no use of palm oil, water reduction policies), community investment (supporting volunteering, profits given to charity) and innovation (sharing economy business model, product lifecycle management).
Brands who have been approved in all 5 criteria can display the butterfly mark on their website, packaging and other relevant locations. A few of the brands that have earned the butterfly mark are Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Loewe, Kiehls, YSL, Tag Heuer and Dom Pérignon.
The butterfly mark thus acts as an incentive for brands, as they will be recognised for their achievements if they employ sustainable practices, and will be able to join the elite rank of approved brands. The corresponding responsibility for consumers is to support the brands that have acquired the butterfly mark, and hold those who haven’t accountable. Research Positive Luxury shows that 83% of people “would always pick a brand that has a better record for sustainability”, and the initiative is helping to make this choice easier for consumers by providing a visual cue.
Look out for the butterfly mark when you next shop and join the community of people taking steps forward to make the industry more sustainable.
You can learn more about Positive Luxury and the work that they do here.