On the first thought, sustainable and luxury are two very different words. They can almost be termed as oxymoron in our dictionaries. The word luxury often comes with an undertone of excess and waste and is often associated with words like ‘couture’, ‘extravagance’, ‘indulgence’ and the ‘high life’. While we think of sustainability, we think of words like ‘environment’, ‘long term’, ‘economy’ or even ‘climate change’. Then how is it that two such different words come together?
But between all the pomp and grandeur of luxury, luxury shares certain qualities like long term, creative and extraordinary designs with sustainability. When you’re buying a $2,500 worth Gucci bag you will look for qualities like uniqueness, elegance and long term! Similarly, sustainability is related to use of exceptional materials, classic designs and quality but with focus on long term and use of fewer and better.
It is often argued that sustainable luxury is easy in theory and when it comes to practicality it is one difficult task. But that’s what this is all about. It’s high time our luxury brands step up and give back to the environment from whom they’ve been so dearly taking resources from. Sustainable luxury is yet in the process of becoming a norm but it’ll soon overtake the general standards of production and selling. Brands need to change with the changing times to be relevant.
“One day we’ll wake up and Green will not be the new black, it will be the new invisible. Meaning, no longer will sustainable be the exception or something that’s considered au courant; instead it will be a matter of course – something that all designers incorporate into their design ethos.” —Summer Rayne Oakes, world’s first ‘eco’ model and serial ecopreneur. (from her book ‘Style, Naturally‘)