Leather suppliers meet the Leather Working Group protocol and 70% of tanneries are planned to be Leather Working Group certified by 2020, in compliance with environmental standards that promote sustainable and responsible business practices within the leather industry. Louis Vuitton, therefore, has a clear understanding of the origin of their raw materials. In 2003, LVMH and its Maisons signed to adhere to the United Nations Global Compact by adopting internal codes of practice and charters that provide a set of benchmarks throughout the organisation. All codes are regularly updated and include an Environmental Charter which was introduced in 2001 and a Supplier Code of Conduct which was introduced in 2008.
LVMH require that suppliers comply with the ethical principles set out in the Supplier Code of Conduct. This Code specifies that these requirements are to be respected by its suppliers, including all subcontractors, in the management of their business regarding; social issues (prohibition of forced labour and child labour, harassment and discrimination, measures related to wages, working hours, the free exercise of union rights, health and safety), environmental issues and operational issues (notably respect for laws, customs regulations, safety and subcontracting) and measures to fight corruption and illicit influence. This Supplier Code of Conduct gives LVMH and Louis Vuitton the right to conduct audits to ensure, as far as possible, that suppliers are compliant with these principles.
As the future is just as important as the past, Louis Vuitton uses revolutionary technologies and processes to modify their business and minimise their environmental footprint, such as automated cutting machines to reduce offcuts, solar energy, water plant treatment and designing all products to be repairable for enduring use. The Maison has created a waste reduction and recycling programme for materials including leather, canvas, textiles, and gold plated metallics. To minimise the quantity of ink required, they also use innovative fabric printing processes as well as utilising 3D prototyping in order to save material usage.
Louis Vuitton demonstrates their strong belief in giving back to the community and wider society through their long-term partnership with UNICEF. This programme named LOUIS VUITTON for UNICEF has raised more than 5 million USD since 2016 to help children in urgent need around the world.
Gender diversity is an integral part of the LVMH culture. In 2017, Louis Vuitton had already achieved LVMH’s target of 50% female employees in strategic corporate roles. Louis Vuitton, and the LVMH Group as a whole place particular emphasis upon developing the careers of women.
In 2013, the LVMH group and 32 of its Houses signed the United Nations’ global agreement on Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP). As a result, the Group is committed to making every possible effort to offer women and men the same opportunities to achieve their full potential by ensuring equitable treatment of both women and men and is demonstrated through financial compensation and benefits. The development of talent and equal opportunities have been well established throughout the business. This development includes L’Ecole des Savoir-faire Maroquiniers, a programme which was created in early 2010, with the objective of gathering all the Maison’s leather goods know-how to teach and inspire the next generation of craftsmen.
Craftsmanship for the Future
Furthermore, since 2015, 86 students have participated in the exceptional Institut des MÃ©tiers d’Excellence. This apprenticeship, inaugurated by the LVMH group, lasts up to two years across a number of divisions and disciplines, from manufacturing to sales and business development. These opportunities span leather goods, jewellery and couture.
Knowledge of traditional techniques and technological innovations are taught to students. All of which capture the different approaches to craftsmanship, which are in line with Louis Vuitton standards. A very good example of that is their care and repair service, as customers are encouraged to pass down their pieces throughout generations, the Maison’s leather goods know-how is passed to the next generation of craftsmen. With creativity and innovation at the core of the Louis Vuitton DNA, they are supremely confident in their ability to create products that are more desirable than ever. Their craftsmanship and everyday practices are completely aligned with their respect for the planet and a more sustainable world.