Is Luxury Fashion Eco-Friendly?

It’s a very rare thing to find luxury and sustainability in the same sentence.

It’s hard to imagine any manufacturer being sustainable and eco-friendly.

However, the fashion industry and several high-end brands, in particular, are starting to redeem themselves as the embodiment of green movement and environmentally friendly products.

In terms of manufacturing – yes – most luxury providers are not an inch closer to being called eco-friendly. Beginning from sending a lot of fancy paper invitations for fashion shows, extravagant promotions and excess packaging to the actual production of the leather goods. Yet, despite this, being green is an area that the luxury brands outcompete their high-street replicas, with luxury brands likely to be considered more eco-friendly.

Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior and Prada – are well-known not only among shopaholics and fashionistas but amongst fashion neutral population too. They are sophisticated, chic, indulging and luxurious. The richest never miss a chance to treat themselves with a brand new Chanel bag or lavish Gucci coat. For those of us with a sufficient income, but no spare cash to splash out, a luxury purchase is meaningful.

Who wouldn’t want to have an expensive bag which gives you the status and the style? It helps to blend in with the fashionistas and set the trend around those who don’t follow fashion. Expensive goods last and make us happy.  Even after five years of wear and tear we still hold dear that expensive item we splashed out on.

Let’s imagine a very lucky lady who’s just got herself a new LV bag for £3,000. It wasn’t her first purchase but that little moment was still very memorable and significant for her. She has it forever along with all the expensive items she’s ever bought. If she gets bored of any of her treats, she can always sell them on the internet or donate to charity. And this is a virtuous circle of a high end bag, a piece of clothing or a watch eternally in use. They never get thrown out. And why would they, after all? Although, if that lady was less lucky in life, she would’ve got herself a bag from a high street shop. And then after a period of heavy use threw it in the bin. Certainly, no one would want a hand-me-down bag from a high street shop.

Clothes, shoes, bags, watches are non-recyclable meaning that you either keep them or get rid of them. In comparison to cheap things, expensive items are less likely to be thrown out which makes them much more eco-friendly. Besides, we even keep the carrier bags that shop assistants kindly put our luxury goods in. We love the experience and we appreciate the result, because it’s worth a lot of money.

High-end fashion brands actually do us a favour by making what they sell incredibly expensive. It’s tempting and still possible to buy, but too precious to part with – which makes us and the environment happy.


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