Great and interesting point.
Exclusivity is certainly a part of the luxury identity but I would argue more so in the price point, limited availability and the fine quality of the products, not in choosing to keep their sustainability and ethics, or suppliers secret. Many brands, like Hermes and Coach, highlight and champion their craftsmanship to demonstrate quality. Kering group, a luxury conglomerate like LVMH or Chanel and their brands like Stella McCartney are increasingly transparent about their practices, goals, and innovations.
Additionally, supply chain partners are often kept secret with the rationale that there is a risk of a brand stealing another brand’s supplier. I’ve never actually seen evidence of this happening, and now with Nike, Gap and H&M revealing their supply chain partners, its becoming more common place to share.
Finally, Chanel has been public about some of their ateliers — they can easily be found in Paris. But its not just the location of suppliers we’re after when we ask for transparency — its materials, origins, worker rights and conditions, environmental policy, business model — Why not share other data about their supply chain ?
I would actually argue that sustainability and ethics is a necessary minimum standard of luxury. Luxury items made by workers in poor conditions or with materials tainted with pollution, are the antithesis of quality products to me.
- Natalie Grillon, CEO, Project JUST