“Positive Luxury showcases luxury lifestyle brands that not only take pride in their craftsmanship, service and design but also care for their employees, suppliers and work hard to protect our planet’s resources. All brands within our community have been awarded The Butterfly Mark and by telling their stories we help people to make more informed buying choices. The Butterfly Mark is a global seal of approval that allows brands to be instantly recognized as one to trust.”-Diana Verde Nieto
I had the opportunity to ask Diana Verde Nieto, the founder of Positive Luxury, about their Butterfly Mark and how it is increasing transparency in the luxury industry. Here’s what she had to say:
Why is it so important for consumers to be informed about brand practices?
Increasingly people want to make a difference through their lifestyles, their careers and the products they buy…. this means that consumers are much more aware and discerning than ever before and corporate practices are in the spotlight. The majority of luxury brands are committed to bettering their social and environmental impact, but embedding this in a brand’s DNA and finding a way to communicate their values to today’s savvy consumers is now a priority if they want to thrive in the future.
What can consumers expect when they purchase from a brand with the Butterfly Mark?
The Butterfly Mark helps people to identify luxury lifestyle brands they can trust, that actively work to protect our planet’s resources and society at large. Each brand that holds the mark has gone through a stringent application process to be awarded and become a part of the Positive Luxury community, we’ve done the hard work for you!
When awarding the Butterfly Mark, Positive Luxury assesses brands based on governance, environmental framework, social framework, innovation and philanthropy. What indicators do you use to measure a brand’s sustainability under each of these pillars?
Our assessment process comprises of an evaluation of brands’ social and environmental framework through a set of targeted questions based on the industry (i.e. fashion, travel or beauty). Companies are required to respond positively to a minimum of 80% of the questions and provide additional documents to support their application. The questions are updated annually with the support of our sustainability councils and look at what is compliant and beyond compliant in each industry. We also take into account which certifications or bodies the brand is a member of.
Have you worked together with brands that did not pass your screening to improve their sustainability? What are some success stories?
We work a lot behind the scenes with brands and companies that aren’t quite ready to join Positive Luxury publically. Although I can’t share any details specifically, I can say that the area we always begin with is leadership, meaning with the CEO wanting to integrate sustainability the DNA and culture of the business. If a company has strong leadership and clear positive values throughout every area of the business, including supply change, they will succeed in future proofing the business.
How closely do you work with approved brands on communication? How do you work to connect brands to millennial audiences?
The Butterfly Mark is the clear connection between brands, millennials and communication.
Luxury has the biggest opportunity with millennials because quality and durability are very important to this generation, money is tight and they want to invest it rather than just spend it. Generation Y and Z want the luxury lifestyle and experience, and ultimately to connect with brands that represent who they are or aspire to be. Technology is the best form of communication, and of course to be transparent and tell your story, this is where The Butterfly Mark comes in.
Besides purchasing from brands with the Butterfly Mark, what can consumers do to support Positive Luxury’s efforts?
People are not necessarily interested in sustainability per se. They are interested in buying products/services that represent their values and make them feel good. So when you’re weighing up the choice between brand A and B, ask yourself – what does this company stand for, what are their values and see if the brand represents you.
If you do purchase from a brand awarded with The Butterfly Mark, share what you love about them – be proud of your choice!
Diana Verde Nieto is the founder and CEO of Positive Luxury. She has extensive experience fighting for sustainability, having worked at a consultancy company that developed sustainability programs for brands and having served as a young global leader for the World Economic Forum in 2011. She is now committed to helping luxury lifestyle brands to become a part of a sustainable solution.