Designer goods failing to make the grade

Luxury brands must do more to improve their environmental and social record, a leading wildlife group has said.

A new report from WWF examining some of the world's top brands has found that many ranked poorly when their public reputation and self-reported performance on green and ethical issues was analysed.

Following publication of the Deeper Luxury report, WWF called for celebrities to avoid promoting what it describes as dirty brands.

The report looked at the top ten holding companies for luxury brands, including well-known names such as Hermes, Tiffany and Co and Swatch, and ranked them according to their own sustainability reporting and they way they have been judged in the media and by non-governmental organisations.

L'Oreal was the best performer, with a C+, but some companies failed to achieve a pass grade.

Anthony Kleanthous, senior policy adviser for WWF, said: "This report is a call to action for the world's top brands to improve the way they do business.

"Luxury companies must do more to justify their value in an increasingly resource-constrained and unequal world.

"Despite strong commercial drivers for greater sustainability, luxury brands have been slow to recognise their responsibilities and opportunities."

The organisation recommended that designer brands' performance on environmental, social and governance issues should be measured and reported.

It also launched a Star Charter which it hopes celebrities will adopt calling on them to consider social and environmental performance before endorsing products and address public concerns over any products they are already fronting.

Mr Kleanthous added: "The world of celebrity leads by example and generates an aspirational desire for branded products.

"These stars have a responsibility to make sure that the brands they are endorsing are not damaging the planet."

Kate Martin



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