We recently published our new Focus Report, Bringing the Future Forward, in which Positive Luxury’s sustainability experts highlighted five opportunities that business leaders can seize now to have a more positive impact on the world. One of the key insights we found was the pressing need for companies to activate purpose.
By ‘activating purpose’, we mean actually doing it. Lots of companies talk about having a purpose, but there is little point in having one unless you fully commit to demonstrating it through every choice and decision you make. Purpose must guide every part of a business’ thinking, planning and decision-making.
How are Positive Luxury brands activating purpose?
The pandemic has accelerated consumers’ desire to seek out organisations that support social and environmental progress. More than ever, people want to feel that their purchases are contributing to society and the planet – and activating purpose is one important way to demonstrate positive impact. We asked our Butterfly-certified brands to share how they approach activating purpose throughout their operations.
Italian fashion brand KAMPOS
“Creating purpose is a choice, it’s a daily commitment. Every day, we remain focused and determined. Every single thought we have and every decision we make are driven by WHY we do it.”
Alessandro Vergano, CEO and Founder
Skincare brand Grown Alchemist
“Great companies should not only serve the customer but also the planet. Sustainability in every business requires continual optimisation. At Grown Alchemist, we achieve the highest standards possible across every level of business – from formulation to manufacturing, distribution to retailing. With this goal in mind, we deliver beautiful products for today that deliver a better tomorrow.”
Jeremy Miujs, Founder & CEO
Footwear brand AERA
“Purpose is at the core of AERA. Our commitment to human, animal and environmental welfare is inherent in our mission and every decision we make. For example, we start with the most sustainable materials and manufacturing possible and then scientifically measure our impacts and offset them by 110%. The extra 10% allows us to give back more than what we take from the environment. From a social point of view, we work with suppliers and manufacturers in Italy and are assured that everyone involved is earning a living wage and working under safe conditions. Also, we love that we are keeping an artisanal craft alive by supporting multigenerational family factories in Veneto.”
Tina Bhojwani, Co-Founder & CEO
British jeweller Garrard
“My business purpose has been directly impacted by the world, as we all look to adapt to our new normal. At Garrard, now more than ever, we are refocusing on our sustainability goals. A newly regrouped team will be working to drive responsibility, including sustainability activations, across the whole business. It has always been of vital importance to Garrard that we respect the valuable resources that make what we do possible and so it is our aim, through the positive actions we have already embraced and those we are yet to take, to continue to make sustainability a core pillar of our business throughout 2020 and beyond.”
Joanne Milner, Chief Executive
Denim designers Jota-Kena
“As sisters, from a young age we had a desire to build something together that would better the world in some way. In line with our purpose we’ve come to embrace joy as an ‘inner guidance system’ that tells us when we are on or off course. It brings us joy to create pieces we love and feel comfortable in, it brings us joy to responsibly use resources and continually educate and better ourselves and our brand, and hopefully it brings our customers joy knowing that what they are wearing is part of a sustainable cycle placing value on both people and the environment.”
Tanith and Keziah Swinford, Co-Founders
Beauty brand Costa Brazil
“Our mission is to create products that are beneficial to the body and the spirit, as well as the earth. We constantly refer back to this, so our purpose is always top of mind across everything – from ingredients to packaging, suppliers to marketing. A recent example of us activating purpose is our September initiative to donate 100% of profits from our body cream to the Amazon Forever campaign, a joint effort with Conservation International and Brazil Foundation. The profits helped provide emergency aid to the people of the Amazon at a time when COVID-19 threatens the lives and livelihoods of these rainforest communities.”
The team at Costa Brazil
Wellbeing retreats Balance holidays
“Our purpose is to build wellbeing, to preserve and protect nature. This acts as the backbone of the company in helping us choose properties to partner with as well as, determining the charities and causes we support. Above all, each day it reminds us what is important in life and being in possession of the capacity to deliver positive change and influence.”
Livia Manca di Villahermosa, Founder
Hotel platform Rusticae
“Our main purpose right now is to accelerate compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 Agenda cannot be another utopia we never reach. Come 2031, we want to be able to say that we did our best to achieve it.”
Sara Sánchez Remacha, CEO
Resorts and hotel brand The LUX* Collective
“We developed our group’s purpose last year: We Make Each Moment Matter. We Care About What Matters. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the way people treat one another, the effect of our actions on people and the environment. We need to find a way to reconcile all of this to make tourism sustainable. The one thing the crisis has taught us is that there are no fast and hard rules; the tourism industry is now on its knees and in order for us, a small international group, to come out of this is to be flexible, adaptable and to put what matters in the centre of what we do, which is caring for our team members, the planet and the local communities we operate in.”
Paul Jones, CEO
British lingerie brand Fleur of England
“Over the past few months, I have been revisiting our business’ purpose and looking at how we can elevate it to reflect the ways in which the brand has grown and developed. Our purpose has always been to make women feel exquisitely confident, however, as a business we also want to reflect on our impact on the planet and how we can make positive changes in the fashion sector. Our purpose has developed to incorporate not just the way we make women feel, but our impact on the planet as well, and we are excited to continue injecting this purpose into everything we do.”
Fleur Christacos, Founder & CEO
British womenswear and skincare brand Bamford
“Something inherent to the Bamford brand is our consistent support of each of our suppliers: our purpose is to use each collection as a force for good in the world. We provide unfailing support to our small-scale makers and artisans each season – not only on behalf of the close relationship we have with each of them, but also to invest in the future of the wider craft industry and communities they work within.
We must react when there is a threat to their livelihoods. We have to be flexible with our decision making to make sure the balance of hand-crafted textiles is prominent in each collection: from honouring and preserving the handloom traditions in India, to upholding the value in the traditional means of spinning yarn and hand-linking garments that are iconic to the vulnerable knitwear industry in Scotland.”
The Team at Bamford