Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship

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Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship

Stories from the Pioneers

Luxury products are now seen by a growing number of global consumers as an important and more widely available way of expressing personal aspirations and values. Most consumers of luxury products and services use them as status symbols and symbols of success. However, the definition of success – and the way it is perceived by others – is changing. Many of these successful consumers now want the brands they use to reflect their concerns and aspirations. Such products come with a heavy social and environmental cost. Sustainable luxury is about rediscovering the old meaning of luxury – a considered purchase of a beautifully crafted object with built-in social and environmental value.

The social entrepreneurs documented in this book highlight the relationship between personal values and sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation in developing and marketing luxury products. The pioneers outline how they have developed inclusive supply chains with poor and vulnerable communities. Their stories prove that luxury need not be a destructive force. Instead, this book opens a window on a world where entrepreneurial pioneers can change the rules of the game.

Sustainable Luxury is a motivational and illustrative read that manifests the creative reconciliation of luxury and sustainability; an encouragement to any budding entrepreneur who seeks to make a lasting impact on society. 

Sublime Magazine

Highly recommendable to students and managers looking at the practical side of premium goods and services.

Professor Santiago Íñiguez de Onzoño, President , IE University

The themes of sustainable luxury and social entrepreneurship are explored… with inspiring case studies… from industry pioneers who show that luxury and sustainability need not be conflicting principles. This book raises the question of how the fashion industry can take advantage of the inspiration and energy of entrepreneurs in the luxury sector to create a sustainable, inclusive and fair society.

Positive Luxury

This book about sustainable luxury is the go-to blueprint for a new vision of enlightened consumption that respects both the earth’s resources and human ingenuity. A must-read for a future that celebrates beauty and fashion while gently caring for the planet.

Susan Rockefeller, designer, filmmaker and conservationist

Could past success limit our horizons? This book demonstrates how tomorrow’s luxury is being created today by people with a potent mix of concern, passion, creativity and persistence. These sustainable luxury entrepreneurs show what is possible, and by telling their stories they broaden our view. A new paradigm of luxury is emerging, where what’s best in the world is what's best for the world. This book by Gardetti and Giron is essential reading.

Prof. Jem Bendell, co-author, 'Deeper Luxury Report'

For me, sustainability is my ability to evolve and mature as a human and live in a more conscious way. Sustainability is when you see yourself beyond you as a person and appreciate that everything you do affects and impacts others, nature, and ultimately our planet. Therefore, you do things from a different perspective. But as human beings and entrepreneurs we all need to be aware of and responsible for more than just ourselves; we need always to treat others and our natural world with the same respect with which we wish to be treated. Only when we operate at this level of consciousness will we see the start of a truly "sustainable world"; and I hope this happens sooner rather than later, as the world has finite resources and cannot sustain the path we are currently pursuing.

Carmen Busquets, Luxury Investor

In times of economic turmoil and of an overwhelming number of global challenges on our horizon, the change-makers of the luxury industry will require more than ever a strong sense of passion, dedication and resilience to shape the values of sustainable luxury. With this book, Maria Eugenia Girón and Miguel Angel Gardetti have created an amazing tool of first-hand knowledge and inspiration to help reaffirm these qualities among future generations of change-makers.

Eduardo Escobedo, Project Director, The Responsible Ecosystems Sourcing Platform (RESP)

Oskar Metsavaht (OSKLEN founder and CEO)


Sustainable luxury: Stories from the pioneers 
María Eugenia Girón (director of Mastercard and IE Business School Premium and Prestige Market Observatory)

Stories from the social pioneers in the sustainable luxury sector: A conceptual vision  
Miguel Angel Gardetti (Director of the Center for Studies on Sustainable Luxury)

1. Elvis & Kresse, UK 
Kresse Wesling (company founder and director)

2. The IOU Project, Spain
Kavita Parmar (company founder and director)

3. Aïny Savoirs Des Peuple, France 
Daniel Joutard (company founder and director)

4. Pachacuti, UK
Carry Somers (company founder and director)

5. We Are Knitters, Spain 
María José Marín (company co-founder and director)

6. Positive Luxury, UK
Diana Verde Nieto (company founder and director)

7. Bottletop, UK
Oliver Wayman and Cameron Saul (company founders and directors)

8. Big Blue Bike, USA 
Shudhan Kohli (company founder and director)

9. Estancia Peuma Hue, Argentina
Evelyn Hoter (company founder and director)

About the editors

MIGUEL ANGEL GARDETTI founded and is head of the Center for Study of Sustainable Luxury, Argentina. MARÍA EUGENIA GIRÓN has 18 years' experience in the luxury industry as an executive, investor, professor and author.

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