We know that Covid has been the subject of the year so far for 2020, rightly so. Caution about cleanliness and hygiene are at the top of agendas everywhere, so reservations about plastic and single-use packaging have taken a back seat whilst trying to keep the virus at bay. However, this does not mean that sustainability is not still a huge theme for many luxury brands that continue to navigate their way around what the term means for them.

Sustainability is a word we have all become familiar with for decades now, and so we should, but has the meaning become blurred in its overuse? The term “greenwashing”, first heard as early as the 1980’s1, has been increasingly directed at brands that are accused of making claims that their products have eco credentials, that in fact may not be quite as “sustainable” as they initially suggest, whatever that really means!

Mike Banister, Director of Hunter Luxury, and an advocate for a move to luxury packaging that aligns with brand’s sustainable values, discusses his experience at a conference earlier this year where the focus was on defining what “sustainability” means for brands.

“Hunter Luxury is increasingly being asked to develop luxury packaging that meets our client’s sustainable objectives. So, with the goal of defining what this means for Hunter in mind, I attended a conference with some of the biggest names in FMCG and luxury retail, as well as representatives from many environmental groups and charities to really get to the core of its meaning.

After two days of discussions, it became clear that there was no outright answer, no one-size-fits-all approach, and there really is no place for “greenshaming” brands based on well-intentioned sustainable actions.”

So, with that in mind, how do we define what sustainability really means, without greenwashing, and what does that mean for luxury brands whilst still representing their values?

Understanding the ever-changing landscape is complex – what is classed as recyclable, compostable, non-plastic, plastic-free, low carbon… – the list of terms that have now become part of our shared vocabulary is endless and ever-growing.

The realisation that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability informs Hunter’s approach. We are continually increasing expertise in the areas of eco materials, processes and services with the aim of providing practical, innovative and “sustainable” options to support clients.

Hunter Luxury has the experience, expertise, and supplier relationships in place to support brands that really do want to make a real impact, whether it be reducing their impact on resources, their carbon footprint, or many of the other activities that sit under the sustainability umbrella.

One way we do this is by developing relationships with a series of eco partners that we think can really help luxury brands truly meet their sustainable objectives. One partner, Paptic, a Finnish company, is really forging ahead with solutions for brands that look to reduce plastic, while still maintaining a luxury feel. Their Tringa™ material, made from wood pulp material has many of the indestructible qualities we all look for in plastic, while being fully recyclable, and Hunter Luxury has worked closely with them to develop luxury packaging, including a retail bag for Dior.

This is one example of how Hunter Luxury specialises in bringing the latest eco materials and solutions to brands for whom the primary requirement is sustainability. We see this trend becoming increasingly significant for the luxury packaging industry and are proud to support clients make real change whilst remining true to their core luxury brand values.

Source: 1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Westerveld