Luxury fashion brands are the leaders of their industry. They produce the items that people aspire to own and inspire the companies that people dream of creating. It is only fitting that these luxury brands serve as pioneers, defining the trends that every other fashion company will follow.
Recently, many luxury fashion lines have shifted towards emracing sustainability in their products. This could shape the industry in profound ways, helping to make our world a better place in the process.
Sustainability in fashion is vital. Many don’t recognize the extreme impact that the industry has, both environmentally and socially. Studies have shown that the fashion industry produces as much as 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, and is the second-largest consumer of the water supply. Although people will always need clothes to wear, there are steps that fashion brands can take to ensure that their products are having a positive impact — or, at least, as little of a negative impact as possible.
Alpaca fiber and ethical gold
Many of Aria Noir’s products are made with sustainable materials, like alpaca fibre. As an alternative to traditional sheep’s wool, alpaca fiber is known to have much less of an environmental and social impact. Alpacas don’t require as much food or water as sheep, and most alpaca fleece is produced in the animal’s natural habitat, instead of on massive commercial farms. As a result, companies that use alpaca fiber in their products support small farms run by indigenous herders who rely on the alpaca trade to sustain themselves and their families.
Aria Noir also makes use of ethical gold in their products. When people think about sustainability, it is often first in terms of the environment. While that is an integral part of sustainability, one mustn’t forget that the mining industry also has an impact on its workers. Traditionally, gold mining can be highly manipulative to laborers working in the mines who risk their lives to unearth this valuable metal, but are rarely paid a livable wage. This is why the mining operation in Peru, owned by the same group that owns Aria Noir, supports fair and ethical labor practices in their mining. The campaign to adorn their eyewear with gold traceable to its source for a fully controlled supply chain will be realized in the third quarter.
How sustainability benefits luxury fashion brands
When creating a luxury brand like Aria Noir, your customers are looking for superior products, and high-quality raw materials are the fundamental building blocks of creating a first-rate product. The great thing about working with sustainable suppliers for your materials is that they are often smaller, more intimate business relationships. Generally, this means a higher level of attention to detail, and more of a passion for excellence than if you were sourcing your materials from the same suppliers who service everyone else in the industry.
Sustainable sourcing inherently lends itself to a limited edition product line like Aria Noir. The fast fashion industry, in particular, has traditionally shied away from using these sustainable raw materials. Instead, companies in fast fashion continue to use their less environmentally-friendly counterparts due to the higher cost and difficulty needed to mass-produce these materials. When you’re already working on smaller batches for a more exclusive line like Aria Noir, using specialty sustainable raw materials only makes the demand for your product even higher.
The fast-fashion pipeline is notoriously bad for both the environment and the employees of the factories that produce these products. The sweatshop model is good for no one except the companies that can use them to cut costs, only to still overcharge their customers. The price point for luxury goods may be high, but in return, you receive the quality you pay for. If you pay for cheap fast-fashion goods, don’t expect them to be made of high-quality materials — or last very long.
Luxury brands are all about quality, but quality shouldn’t stop at the craftsmanship of the product. Everything that goes into the product should be superior, down to the smallest raw material used. Having these excellent, sustainable raw materials is what will set your brand apart. You will not only be doing more for the environment, but also creating more exclusive products for your customers.