The first pillar is about the transition towards a circular economy, focusing on packaging circularity, product life and waste production, with waste and plastics the two most urgent and important issues. Safeguarding the environment and natural resources is the second pillar, which is about energy usage, renewables and reducing carbon emissions.
The third pillar is about advocating equal and respectful working conditions, designed to guide suppliers to work closely with their supply chain to make sure they’re sourcing responsibly and have 100% traceability at all points along the chain. If you’re not helping them look after [these aspects] now, you’re not going to be able to function as a business in future. The fourth is about people and the planet: human rights and labour laws, gender equality and diversity across the business, and access to luxury roles for under-represented people.
Mulberry has already introduced an entire product range made using less water and chemicals in the leather dyeing and tanning process. It’s also working towards using 100% recyclable nylon in its products. Importantly, there will be no impact on price – consumers shouldn’t have to pay more for brands’ good behaviour.
Another good example with luxury brands is lifetime guarantees – you can always have items repaired. It’s the same with Church’s shoes, or if you have a hole in your Johnstons of Elgin cashmere jumper you can send them back for repair. These services have been part of these brands for decades, but we need to talk about them, so people know that if they love an object, they can repair it, that it’s been made with care by extraordinary craftspeople – a luxury item is not luxury if it has built-in obsolescence.