Stop au gaspillage ! Un défi dans l'industrie du luxe

Stop wasting! A challenge in the luxury industry


What do the big luxury houses do with their unsold goods of the season? Of course, there's the sales. However, in this highly coveted sector, it is no longer always a solution chosen by large companies. But as specialists explain, "For some houses, selling an item means devaluing it". Problem encountered by major luxury houses such as Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès, Gucci, Burberry... and which prevent them from selling their products.


How to deal with the economic consequences of this decision? These houses have found parades like ultra-private sales reserved either for privileged customers or their staff, they also go to destocking stores by selling unsold items from previous seasons.... And the ultimate solution but a real taboo in the sector, the destruction of the goods.


Some brands such as Burberry have already given up destroying unsold items, following a shock article published in July 2018 in the British press, where it was reported that the brand was systematically destroying its unsold textiles and cosmetics. In 2017, the equivalent of 20,000 trench coats worth 28 million pounds went up in smoke.


A new law on waste hunting should further shake up attitudes. After the unsold food, the destruction of which is now prohibited, it is now the turn of unsold non-food products, including textiles and cosmetics, to be in the government's sights. The law? An ambitious law for the circular economy presented to the Council of Ministers in July by the Secretary of State for Ecological Transition Brune Poirson, and for whom "Producing to destroy is finished".


What framework for this law? Article 6 of the draft law stipulates that "producers, importers and distributors of non-food products are required to reuse, reuse or recycle their unsold products" But as Mr Emile Meunier points out, the text does not affirm in black and white the principle of prohibiting the destruction of unsold products. And we also know that the government wants to give the stakeholders concerned time to prepare for the consequences of this upcoming law, with two deadlines, at the end of 2021 when there is a recycling network and at the end of 2023 for the others.


What are the reactions? The fashion industry is preparing its back. The federation of haute couture and fashion has sponsored a working group, this subject being especially sensitive for the world of luxury which scrupulously watches over the distribution circuit of its precious goods. The problem will surely be raised next August in the Fashion Pacte, a mission entrusted by President Macron to François Pinault, President of Kering, to unite the entire sector around real decisions and commitments for the preservation of the planet. According to François Pinault, "We must think about collective intelligence because we are in an emergency situation"


For Thibaut de La Rivière, director of Sup de luxe, "If luxury continues to make us dream, it is also because it meets the highest standards, such as the protection of our planet".