Warning: luxury shopping labels can seriously damage your conscience - Green Living - Environment - The Independent

Warning: luxury shopping labels can seriously damage your conscience

A A A

Luxury brands such as Bulgari, Tiffany & Co and Tod's fail miserably in terms of their ethical and environmental credentials, according to the first major audit of sustainability in the world's top 10 companies for luxury brands.

The report, entitled Deeper Luxury, by the charity WWF, exposes many major designer jewellers and fashion houses as barely passable in the ethical and environmental stakes.

None of the top 10 labels in the study scores more than a C+ on the report's A to F scale and two of the labels Bulgari and Tod's fail the test, emerging with an F grade.

The companies are ranked according to their own reporting both of their sustainability and social performance, as well as on NGO and media reports on their working practices. L'Oreal comes out as the best of a mediocre bunch, with a C+, while Tod's languishes at the bottom of the chart with an abysmal score of 34.9 per cent.

Richemont and PPR, whose brands include Chloe and Gucci respectively, are both graded D for their ethical efforts. The report recommends that with their greater budgets, producers of luxury goods could in fact be leading the way in social and environmental performance.

Anthony Kleanthous, senior policy adviser for WWF, said: "This report is a call to action for the world's top brands to improve the way they do business. Luxury companies must do more to justify their value in an increasingly resource-constrained and unequal world.

"Despite strong commercial drivers for greater sustainability, luxury brands have been slow to recognise their responsibilities and opportunities," said Mr Kleanthous. "We call upon the luxury industry to bring to life a new definition of luxury, with deeper values expressed through social and environmental excellence. Their performance and progress on environmental, social and governance issues should be comprehensively measured and reported."

Celebrity endorsement of ethically questionable luxury goods also comes under fire in the report, which says that while Hollywood stars such as Sienna Miller are good at raising ethical issues, they do not apply the same principles to the labels they choose to promote. Miller, who has given her face to the Global Cool environmental campaign, also promotes Tod's, the worst offender in the ethical audit.

Mr Kleanthous, said: "The world of celebrity leads by example and generates an aspirational desire for branded products. These stars have the responsibility to make sure that the brands they are endorsing are not damaging the planet."

A spokesman for Tod's said: "Tod's is committed to the process of developing long-term strategies to address the very serious issues of global warming, ethical production and the potential environmental crisis."

Researchers found that in some cases the luxury goods industry, which is worth 77bn worldwide, is depleting natural resources, exploiting labour and hiding its supply chain from outside scrutiny.

Conflict diamonds were still a prevalent concern in the high-end jewellery industry despite high-profile campaigns on the mining and selling of the gems in war zones following the Hollywood film Blood Diamond.

The investigation also exposed the gold mining industry as still being conducted without due social or environmental concern often displacing communities, destroying environments and contaminating drinking water.

According to WWF, consumers are increasingly keen to buy into an ethical standard as well as the promise of quality when they purchase luxury goods. "These consumers use luxury products as a symbol of success. The definition of success and the way it is perceived by others is changing. Increasingly, successful people want the brands they use to reflect their concerns and aspirations for a better world", the report says.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Sport
David Moyes and Rio Ferdinand
FootballRio Ferdinand on why the former manager failed at United
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
News
i100
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week