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Positive Week: Monday – Fashioning the Future

Positive Week: Monday – Fashioning the Future

The second annual Positive Week kicked off at The House of St Barnabas today with an insightful panel discussion looking at how gaining consumer trust can build brand equity. The panel gave a lively debate on how luxury brands have a responsibility to be mindful of their social and environmental impact and how to communicate this to the consumer in a way that unlocks the value of their sustainability investment whilst encouraging the consumer to make better purchasing decisions.

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Positive Luxury co-founder Diana Verde Nieto introduces the panel – Credit: Anna Michell Fashion & Beauty Photographer

Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council, told the select audience of fashion brands and advisors: “The British fashion industry is setting the agenda when it comes to encouraging positive business models that cater to a more mindful consumer. From high street to luxury brands, designers know that when given the choice of two identical products, the consumer will choose the product that provides environmental, social and economic benefits.”

Positive Week, which is organised by Positive Luxury and sponsored by Mishcon de Reya and The House of St Barnabas, is driven by a simple aim: to bring together luxury brands making efforts towards minimising their environmental footprint while maximising their social impact, and to facilitate a discussion to share their positive stories.

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Panellists (l-r) included Pierre Mallevays, Caroline Rush, Sarah Rotheram and Hanneli Rupert – Credit: Anna Michell Fashion & Beauty Photographer

Speaking from a financial perspective, Pierre Mallevays, the founding partner of boutique advisory firm Savigny Partners, said that sustainability should not come as a compromise. “A brand sells on the quality of its product first but strong values and a sound supply chain adds further value to the consumer,” he said.

Other panellists at the event included Aspinal of London CEO Sarah Rotheram, and Hanneli Rupert, the founder of luxury leather accessories brand Okapi, with renowned BBC journalist and broadcaster Tanya Beckett acting as moderator. Hanneli emphasised how sustainability is inherent to luxury: “It’s really exciting that luxury brands are investing in sustainability and that includes making products that are built to last, that become heirlooms and are investment pieces.” Sarah Rotheram added: “The consumer expects that if you are a luxury brand you have a social and environmental awareness.”

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Sarah Rotheram, Diana Verde Nieto and Caroline Rush (l) and moderator Tanya Beckett (r) – Credit: Anna Michell Fashion & Beauty Photographer