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Positive Luxury Co-CEO, Diana Verde Nieto, is joined by an expert panel to explore how the beauty and fragrance industry can prepare for a sustainable future.

The panellists include:

Sabrina Elba – Co-Founder, S’ABLE LABS

Rhea Cartwright – Strategy Consultant & Beauty Editor

Mathieu Flamini – Co-Founder & CEO, GFBiochemicals

The accompanying report sets out the key themes that will define the future of the beauty & fragrance industry, offering case studies and key actions for luxury business. Download your complimentary copy here.

 

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THREE KEY LEARNINGS FROM OUR UNDERSTANDING BIODIVERSITY WEBINAR

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THREE KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM OUR GLOBAL LEGISLATION WEBINAR

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From leaps forward in green chemistry and biomimicry to a shift towards inclusivity, every aspect of the beauty & fragrance industry is being re-examined and re-tooled. Our must-read report explores the key themes that will define the future of the industry, offering case studies and key actions for luxury businesses. Fill in the form below to download your complimentary copy.

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THE SUSTAINABLE FINANCE REVOLUTION

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Updated to include the impact of COP, recent changes in legislation and a brand new case study, this paper aims to demystify the subject of carbon and net zero, helping business leaders understand the role they must play in addressing climate change.

We unpack the challenges in measuring your own emissions and what you can do to reduce or remove those emissions, equipping you with the knowledge you need to build a net zero strategy.

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THE SUSTAINABLE FINANCE REVOLUTION

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U Beauty produces luxury skincare that is smart, science-based and empowers consumers to make careful choices to change the world. We sat down with their founder, Tina Craig, to learn more about her leadership style and to get advice for aspiring sustainability leaders.

What makes a great – or successful – leader?

True empathy, compassion, and understanding are the most important qualities in a leader – and the key to success. Respect other people’s time, not just your own. Finally, be collaborative and share your vision. For example, from our marketing and creative teams to our cosmetic chemists, the bright, dedicated people I work with inspire me, and their collective experiences help ensure we’re focusing on the latest advances in science and sustainability.

A great leader knows how to be a team member. They don’t just listen to the people around them, who are ideally the best and brightest in the industry. They process what they’re saying. It’s vital to talk with people, not at them.

What are your personal strengths as a leader?

I pride myself on making people feel like they belong and are valued, whether we work closely together every day or we see each other once a year. I view myself as the part of the team that makes the wheels go round, and I constantly ask myself, “how can I make this ride smoother for everyone?”

I am also very driven to solve problems. Growing up, when I’d run to my father with complaints, he always said: “if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.” I always want to be part of the solution.

What is the toughest lesson you learned?

The hardest lesson I’ve learned is that not everyone is going to like you – and that’s perfectly fine. That didn’t used to be okay with me, probably because I grew up an immigrant in a place where my background was different from those around me. I didn’t take anything, including validation and encouragement from other people, for granted, and I eventually learned to not seek approval from others. What counts is if you can look honestly at yourself and approve of what you see.

And the most rewarding?

There’s crossover between the toughest and most rewarding lessons. It’s commonly said that it doesn’t matter what people think of you. But it does – because the experience you give people matters. Therein lies the difference between being concerned if people like you and caring about how you make them feel. Learning I’m a people-pleaser not for myself, but because I care about not causing discomfort to anyone else, has been an infinitely rewarding lesson.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring leader?

Failures are stepping-stones to success. If you look at a failure as a shortcoming, you’re going to get stopped and stuck early on. I never take no for an answer and I never get deterred by challenges. If anything, they propel me to want to succeed even more.

Why should people be positive about the future?

We have the ability to shape our own realities. That’s why I start every day with positive affirmations and mindful meditation: assured thoughts manifest better realities, and positivity begets positivity. We might not be able to control everything, but our outlooks have power and we should harness it.

As far as within the beauty industry, health and wellness advances are moving at the fastest pace of all time and the world is more connected than ever. Collectively, we’re working hard to improve sustainability across all supply chains. When an industry works together, improvements are exponential – we can make the best choices available to produce safe, effective products that a customer feels good about purchasing. That’s why it’s encouraging to see a true effort to produce responsibly. With a united industry, it’s easier to succeed and in the end, we all win.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT BUTTERFLY MARK-CERTIFIED U BEAUTY HERE

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BEST PRACTICE IN INNOVATION: MEET THE 2022 WINNERS

A responsible, innovative luxury industry can play a vital role in tackling climate change and enhancing our natural world. The change we need to see is impossible without innovation. From brands to retailers, from material suppliers to manufacturers, the Positive Luxury Awards celebrate excellence in sustainability across the entire supply chain, and showcase the best example of innovation in the luxury sector.

In this webinar Positive Luxury Co-CEO, Amy Nelson-Bennett, is joined by the trailblazing 2022 Positive Luxury Award winners to discover how they overcome challenges through innovation and their inspirational positive actions. The panel includes:

Edzard van der Wyck- Co-Founder, Sheep Inc

Lucina Popp- Head of Design, Bamford

Megan Shearer – Chief Product Officer, Monica Vinader

Berta Serret – Founder and CEO, Tracemark

Philipp Kauffman – Founder and CEO, Original Beans

Mateusz Pestk – Electrical Engineer, Belvedere Distillery

 

Download the 2022 Winners Report here

 

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MEET THE LEADERS: INLIGHT BEAUTY

Pioneer of the organic beauty movement in Britain, Inlight Beauty bring beauty to life through healthy and radiant skin. We sat down with the founders, Dr Mariano and Loredana Spiezia, to learn more about their leadership style and discover advice for aspiring sustainable leaders.

What makes a great – or successful – leader?

A great leader has a strong vision and the gift to motivate others. A leader must be an example of strong commitment, integrity to their own principles, resilience accompanied by respect, fairness, empathy and compassion. Successful leaders lead without abusing or using others to achieve their goal, as in this case I would call them tyrants rather than leaders.

What are your personal strengths as a leader?

Aiming for excellence, keeping the focus while drawing out strengths in others to empower them. Not everyone has the vision or can see what lays at the end of the road, but many can sense that your vision can become theirs; when they do, we are there to walk with them, guarding their motivation for as long as they need.

What is the toughest lesson you learned?

In 2004 a fire destroyed our premises, with everything in it including old books, many years of research, equipment and stock. We stood there powerless and speechless watching years of work vanishing in smoke. It was impossible to make sense of what had happened; it was easier to give up than to start again. An unfortunate yet ideal situation to question our vision and motivation. Here is where we learned the true meaning of team spirit. The support and encouragement from customers and people around us had to be honoured. Even people we didn’t know came to our aid. We soon learned how important it is to surrender and just be, take help when it’s offered and don’t look back at what could have been. We literally rose from the ashes, as they say, and looked at the ashes as fertiliser for the soil of a new business life. The rest is history.

And the most rewarding?

There are many. Every time a customer tells us that our products have improved more than just their complexion; when a patient says: “I feel better in my body, mind and soul”; when once on walking in our production site a visitor exclaimed: “what a beautiful scent of flowers, I feel like walking in a meadow.” When our staff make jokes about having a “disorder” as they so much love coming to work! Simple meaningful words that help us see the footprint we’ll leave behind.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring leader?

Any achievement is the result of a good teamwork, but you have to be the inspiration behind them and persevere no matter what.

Why should people be positive about the future?

Simply because this planet has existed for millions of years, gone through many changes, catastrophises, wars, many civilisations, and nevertheless humanity has been always able to resurrect. In the new paradigm, the future does not exist: the “now” is what exists and in this “now” we can change our own destiny, making the right choice. If we are positive now, the future will inevitably reflect it.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT BUTTERFLY MARK-CERTIFIED INLIGHT BEAUTY HERE

 

 

 

 

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MEET THE LEADERS: WENDY ILES

Founded and formulated by an internationally acclaimed celebrity hairstylist, Iles Formula has developed a multi-award winning hair collection through the use of innovative formulas, fusing together minimalism with maximum performance. We sat down with the founder, Wendy Iles, to learn more about her leadership style and to get advice for aspiring sustainable leaders. 

What makes a great – or successful – leader?

To me, passion and integrity are two of the greatest attributes in a leader. To believe in what you do with your heart and soul so as to inspire your customers and team. Likewise, integrity in every sense of the word. How you interact with your customers, business partners and team. Also, the integrity of not succumbing to the pressures of doing as others do. Iles Formula will never launch new products simply to boost revenue. As I’ve said before, I find it unnecessary, wasteful and confusing. We formulate less but we do it extremely well and that is what our customers love about our formulas.

What are your personal strengths as a leader?

With over four decades of experience working with some of the highest demanding clientele in the world, it’s safe to say I am truly passionate about hair and hair health. I also have a unique and well-rounded insight into the world of hair from all aspects – having owned salons earlier on in my career to working as a freelance stylist around the world on some of the most demanding and high-profile editorials, fashion and beauty campaigns. Fast forward to now, being the President of a niche but global luxury haircare brand.

What is the toughest lesson you learned?

The toughest lessons I’ve learned probably all stem back to the same core lesson; the need to delegate to my team so I am better able to focus on the areas that cannot be overseen by anyone else. As a niche, family-owned brand, my husband and I have had a deep involvement in every aspect and detail of the business. Whilst I will still always be involved, I now have a small but highly experienced team to support us in many areas of the business and I remind myself daily to lean on them for their specific areas of expertise.

And the most rewarding?

The most rewarding without a doubt are the reviews that I wake up to every day from customers from all around the world. Daring to be different in a market as highly competitive as haircare can be tough, but the positive reviews I receive are all the reward and assurance I need to know that we’re doing the right thing. Our customers love that we stand for minimalism meets maximum performance. No noise, just pure, unbeatable performance.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring leader?

Have courage and self-belief, and grow with integrity.

Why should people be positive about the future?

We are now more educated than ever to make positive changes with information readily available at our fingertips. Likewise, the technology required to make these positive changes is constantly improving. Combined, the future is bright!

 

Learn more about Butterfly Mark-certified Iles Formula here

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE: MEET IAIN RUSSELL, OPERATIONS MANAGER AT WILD BEAUTY

As part of our ongoing commitment to sharing positive brand stories and actions from our community, Making a Difference highlights the often unsung individuals across the luxury industry making a positive impact. It is our hope that this series will be an inspiration to people working in sustainability and show professionals – particularly at the start of their career journey – the many routes there are to making a difference.

This month the spotlight is on Iain Russell, Operations Manager at Wild Beauty.

What qualifications do you have? Did they play a role in getting you where you are today?

Environmental care and concern have been part of me longer than I can remember. At the age of 6, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, apparently, I announced I would grow up to be a “doctor in the mud!” I went on to gain a BSC in Environmental Science and an LLM in Environmental Law. I actually joined Rhug as an Accountant, but my knowledge of sustainability and operations saw me promoted over to the Wild Beauty Team; where I bring sustainability and ethical considerations into each part of our work here.

Have you always worked in sustainability? If not, what did you do before?

I have always worked in sustainability but that was not always the job that my employers thought they had given me. My placement year was on a nature reserve, and I loved it, but after graduating I accidentally ended up working in finance and IT for several years, before heading up a European Network of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence. Finally getting back to my green-roots with a Renewable Energy developer; undertaking Environmental Impact Assessment and Consenting for offshore wave power. My next job, and still my favourite, was as a stay-at-home Dad. I self-trained as an accountant during that time.

How did you end up in your current role?

I joined Rhug in 2019 as an accountant for the consumer retail part of the business. I have a very practical approach to everything and I applied this to accounting; not just sitting in an office but checking the process at every stage. This hands on approach also resulted in getting involved in the IT/Phone provision and my background in renewable energy helped with the Rhug Energy side of the business. My thorough approach got noticed and when the Rhug Wild Beauty brand began to expand I was asked if I wanted to join the team.

What made you fall in love with sustainability?

It was never conscious for me, early on, but always present. Like a shape my soul was always destined to grow into. To me sustainability is the answer to all things. A sustainable future has a protected environment and a fair and equitable society. Achieving this means we prevent so many other issues from occurring. It may come as no surprise that I am pro-sustainability – but I’m also very positive about it. I genuinely believe that a sustainable future is the best future, for all concerned – and any steps we take towards that future, improves our present as well.

What does your day-to-day look like?

My work covers the entire product and business life cycle. New product (and/or componentry) design including certification application, requirements and costings. Production planning follows with all elements following the critical path. Sales orders also come into me from the retailers and are dispatched according to their criteria. Web-sales need to be processed for dispatch; Export documentation needs preparing for international deliveries. I also oversee the accounts and collate sales data for analysis, as well as assisting with new customer acquisition – more and more of whom are international and so involve getting my head round international logistics and finance.

What challenges have you faced? 

Knowing nothing what-so-ever about skincare was the first challenge. Having a biological background helped but I had genuinely never heard of a toner or a serum before I started with Rhug Wild Beauty. The major challenge since has been the huge breath of the role. We are only a small team and I am the only technical and operational role. I cover our certifications and audits, componentry procurement, import and export, accounts, IT, dispatch and logistics – plus overlapping involvement in all other aspects of the business. I now know what a toner and serum are, so there’s that as well.

What are you most proud of? 

I’m very proud of what we do here and feel an enormous sense of pride seeing the products on the shelf. For me, however, the greatest pride comes from the honesty behind the brand. When I began this role, I spent quite some time looking to ingredients used by the skincare industry and was, frankly, horrified. The list of chemicals and petro-chemical derivates was appalling, even in brands that claimed to be ‘natural’ and/or ‘organic’. It is with great satisfaction that I tick the ‘none of the above’ box in the additive section of any potential retailer’s application form.

What advice would you have for anyone looking to contribute to their company’s sustainability goals?

I genuinely cannot think of a reason why they should not be doing so. It can start so simply, with things we do every day. Don’t print emails, don’t print a report, take the laptop and explain face-to-face. Shift to recycled paper; little things grow at the personal level. Soon companies will be encouraged to switch to renewable energy, hold more virtual meetings, push sustainability into their every decision and reach out (as we have done to Positive Luxury) to bodies that can help to quantify their efforts and cooperate to improving or focus them.

What’s next for you?

The past eighteen months have been amazing, taking the brand from close to inception to being on-shelf around the world. I feel, however, we are reaching the end of our infancy as a brand. We’ve established ourselves, proven our products, now it’s time to push higher and wider. It is so important to us and the sustainability industry, as a whole, that we prove that luxury, sustainability, natural and organic credentials do not need to be sacrificed for a wonderful and effective product. The truth is our products are better because they are all of these things.

 

 LEARN MORE ABOUT WILD BEAUTY AND THEIR SUSTAINABILITY CERTIFICATION HERE

 

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MONICA VINADER: RESPONSIBLE LUXURY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2022

The luxury business deemed to have achieved more than any other in reshaping its business model toward a fully sustainable one in the last 12 months. The entire shortlist is to be applauded, but winner Monica Vinader set the standard for tangible action across all areas of ESG+. This business is a positive example for all luxury companies.

“What sets this business apart, and which the judging panel rightly acknowledged, is the company’s incredible commitment to ongoing improvement. For the Monica Vinader team, the job is never complete and 2021 was clear evidence of this. They embedded sustainability into the structure and operations of the business, including the introduction of a GM for sustainability, executive-level steering committee, a Green Team of operational experts spearheading delivery of sustainable change and another team dedicated to diversity, equality and inclusion initiatives. They made the bold move to using only recycled gold and silver, reduced single-use plastic in their supply chain by 90% and redesigned all packaging to use less, but more sustainable materials that are 100% recyclable and reusable. They went completely carbon neutral, across operations and product, and rightly acknowledge offsets as an absolute last resort. Their jewellery recycling scheme is a game-changer, as is the dedication shown to upskilling employees’ sustainability knowledge and involving their community of followers in the sustainable design process. All this and more are documented, tracked and reported on with refreshing honesty. Monica Vinader is a sustainability trailblazer, a poster child for innovation and transparency, and a crown jewel amongst Positive Luxury’s community of Butterfly Mark certified companies.”

– Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co–CEO Positive Luxury

CATEGORY SHORTLIST
Guerlain
Monica Vinader
Sambar
Whatley Manor

CATEGORY JUDGES
Laila Charlton Meyrick
Paul Polman
Martin Townsend

 

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BELVEDERE VODKA: WINNER MATERIAL & MANUFACTURING INNOVATION OF THE YEAR 2022

Belvedere Vodka Positive Luxury
Belvedere Vodka Positive Luxury

The Positive Luxury Material and Manufacturing Innovation of the Year is awarded to a material supplier or manufacturing business that has demonstrated innovation anywhere from design, research and development, production, supply chain and logistics management through to end of life management.

“It is often said that large organisations, particularly those with strong heritage, struggle to adapt to changing marketing conditions and remain relevant. Belvedere is clear evidence to the contrary. The company, part of the luxury powerhouse LVMH, represents 600 years of Polish vodka-making tradition and their distillery has been making Vodka since 1910. With several hundred employees and distribution around the globe, transforming their business operations and supply chain toward a fully sustainable business model is no easy task – yet they are doing the heavy lifting, making great strides and setting ambitious targets for ongoing improvement. In 2021, after three years of collaborative teamwork between the company and the community, and the first European Commission grant to a spirits distillery, their ambitious on-site biomass capture facility went live. Belvedere also announced their accelerated schedule to become energy carbon neutral and eight clearly targeted commitments – all to be delivered by or before 2025. This is what action looks like. I’m impressed. So were the judges.”

– Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO Positive Luxury

CATEGORY SHORTLIST
Belvedere
Favini
James Cropper Colourform
WD Lab Grown Diamonds

CATEGORY JUDGES
Tom Fiddian
Iris Van der Veken
Sylvie Benard

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TRACEMARK: WINNER BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2022

Positive Luxury Tracemark
Positive Luxury Tracemark

This award recognises young companies that are playing a leading role in driving innovation in sustainability with clear purpose beyond profit – demonstrating quantifiable positive impact and holistic commitment across all three pillars of ESG best practice.

“Less than a year old and with fewer than 10 employees at the time of application, Tracemark is a company I want to see succeed – for the good of the jewellery and diamond industry, its consumers, and Tracemark’s founders who spent over two years developing their Transparent Tracking System software. Not only does the tool leverage technology to provide robust traceability and verified standards, it also cleverly connects today’s consumers to the product, materials and manufacturing through their Traceability Panel, educating and empowering them to make informed purchasing decisions. The industry has a deservedly tarnished reputation, particularly with the arena of human rights, but it is an innovator like Tracemark that will drive tangible positive action and help restore consumer confidence in the jewellery industry. Traceability tools are currently very much focussed on the fashion industry, but consumers deserve transparency across all categories of goods and services. I am thrilled the judging panel acknowledged this and, among a very strong shortlist, recognised Tracemark.”

– Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO Positive Luxury

CATEGORY SHORTLIST
Been London
Object
Riley Studio
Tracemark

CATEGORY JUDGES
Alyssa Auberger
Charles Boulton
Paul Polman

 

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ORIGINAL BEANS: WINNER SOCIAL INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR 2022

Original Beans Positive Luxury
Original Beans Positive Luxury

The Social Innovator of the Year category rewards organisations within the luxury space that have shown strong social leadership and that operate as a force for good – driving social change and making the luxury world a more equitable place.

“I am thrilled the judging panel admired the depth and breadth of Original Beans’ social commitments, interwoven in their mission to become a fully regenerative business. Their well-documented 12 solutions are inspiring commitments and activities, carefully measured and transparently reported, which provide vital support to indigenous tribes and local farmers in Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The problems they are working to address can feel huge and beyond our individual control, but Original Beans’ efforts and impact are convincingly authentic, tangible and refreshingly personal. This is a highly accountable business, caring for its stakeholders in very meaningful ways. As their innovative Chocolate Food Print will show you, it is worth each of us paying a small premium to consume chocolate grown in this different and better way.”

– Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO Positive Luxury

CATEGORY SHORTLIST
Bav Tailor
Focus on Women
Neri Karra
Original Beans

CATEGORY JUDGES
Omoyemi Akerele
Maxine Bedat
Susan McPherson

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BAMFORD: WINNER PRODUCT INNOVATION OF THE YEAR 2022

Positive Luxury Bamford
Positive Luxury Bamford

The Positive Luxury Product of the Year is awarded to a product that is driving genuine change across all aspects of ESG+ (Environmental, Social, Governance, and Innovation) criteria in the luxury sector – inspiring other products across all luxury categories to be better and do better.

“I am thrilled the judging panel share our passion for this very British capsule collection. Pioneering founder Carole Bamford had a vision for beautifully made clothing with a fully traceable product journey, and this collection more than delivers on that. By relocating the entire supply chain onto British soil, which includes the nation’s first and only certified organic flock of merino sheep, the collection is produced on a transport footprint reduced by 96%, its significantly reduced carbon footprint has been measured at every stage of product lifecycle, its methods have reduced water consumption by 12,000 litres and the partnerships formed to deliver it support small-scale businesses across England and Scotland. The products are beautiful in every sense, a tribute to British artisan craftsmanship. We hope this project heralds the homecoming of the UK knitwear industry and helps preserve farming and manufacturing techniques that are an important part of the island’s culture heritage.”

– Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO Positive Luxury

CATEGORY SHORTLIST
Arbikie Distillery
Bamford
Spectacle Skincare
Vyn GmbH

CATEGORY JUDGES
Omoyemi Akerele
Jane Shepherdson
Peter Lacey

 

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POSITIVE LUXURY AWARDS: 2022 WINNERS REPORT

The Positive Luxury Awards honour innovation in every aspect of ESG, celebrating the leading brands, retailers and suppliers and driving a global conversation about the future of luxury. Through highlighting the winners of each category, it is our intention that these awards help accelerate change by showcasing the trailblazers. Download our winners report below to discover more about these innovative leaders in sustainability:

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