Rajiv Dogra

Celebrating World Environment Day, LuxeBook discusses the business of going green and salutes the new champions of the game

Sustainability is high on the minds of Indian luxury brands. Sustainable development, in broad terms, means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. From farm-to-fork restaurants to garments made with recycled fabric, the luxury market is gradually adopting sustainable practices. Stella McCartney and Mara Hoffman are using ethically sourced, organic and recycled materials. Gucci has recyclable packaging; Versace has stopped using animal products and many brands, including Burberry, are rethinking the practice of burning their stock. In India, ITC Hotels have adopted a low-carbon growth strategy by constructing green buildings and judiciously using natural resources. Clothing brands such as Nicobar by Good Earth, Grassroot by fashion designer Anita Dongre are trying to go completely organic, and real-estate companies are incorporating eco-conscious strategies. As consumers become more conscious and aware, going green has become a great business strategy, the one that helps companies build a robust brand image and establish a stronger connection with a consumer on the back of ethical values. It is a given then that both Indian and global organisations are investing in eco-friendly infrastructures.

Carly jumpsuit in agave print by Mara Hoffman
Carly jumpsuit in agave print by Mara Hoffman

“Opting for sustainability does not mean that the brands must change their identity and DNA. They, however, will have to invest time and resources into building an eco-friendly system without diluting their brand image, which leads to the term responsible innovation”

Opting for sustainability does not mean that the brands must change their identity and DNA. They, however, will have to invest time and resources into building an eco-friendly system without diluting their brand image, which leads to the term responsible innovation, says Shoyeb Hussain Cyclewala, Director, Luxury Management Program at SP Jain School of Global Management.

India has always had the resources to lead the eco-friendly agenda. However, mass unawareness and mass production have been the key deterrents.” Things are changing now. “We still need stringent norms and compliances. If we were to put things into perspective, we have all the resources to establish and create several global ethical, sustainable luxury brands. It is just a matter of time,” he adds.

Fashion

In the world of fashion today, organic material matters as much as a dress’ colour and silhouette. “Elements such as permanent softness, enhanced breathability, colour retention combined with style are key additions to the luxury fashion market,” says Avinash Mane, Commercial Head, South Asia, Lenzing Group. The 81 year-old fibre brand produces wood-based viscose fibres, modal fibres, lyocell fibres and filament yarn used for clothing, home textiles and technical textiles.

Desert Symmetries, from 'Grassroot' by Anita Dongre
Desert Symmetries, from ‘Grassroot’ by Anita Dongre

The company partnered with designers Rajesh Pratap Singh and Anita Dongre at the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Summer/Resort 2019 to create their sustainable fashion collection.

Hospitality

The green movement has already gained momentum. Luxury hotels are going green as millennials and Generation Z, who form a large segment of affluent consumers, are looking for sustainable and authentic experiences, says Prachika Saxena, Director of
Human Resources, Conrad Pune, by Hilton Hotels & Resorts. The group aims to cut its carbon footprint to half. They don’t use plastic straws or laundry bags and have reduced the consumption of cling wraps and plastic bottles to half. The hotel has also tied
up with an NGO to recycle its soaps and distribute them in rural areas.

Wildflower Hall, An Oberoi Resort, Shimla
Wildflower Hall, An Oberoi Resort, Shimla

“Travellers today are far more discerning than even a decade ago. As responsible global citizens, guests opt for hotels that practice sustainability actively,” says Sunirmol Ghosh, Director, IndoAsia Tours, which offers local, immersive boutique experiences at Heritage Resorts in Hampi and Coorg. The properties recycle beer bottles, use solar heaters and grow organic fruits and vegetables.

Travellers today are far more discerning than even a decade ago. Guests opt for hotels that practice sustainability actively

Real estate

Luxury real-estate projects are not only characterised by their high-end amenities but also their eco-friendly features. Integrated building management systems and net-zero concept buildings (The total amount of energy used by the building on an annual
basis is equal to or less than the amount of renewable energy on-site) have gained popularity as they don’t depend on any external source for energy and water, explains Shabbir Kanchwala, Senior Vice-President, K Raheja Corp.

Hanging Gardens, One Central Park, Sydney
Hanging Gardens, One Central Park, Sydney

The company has developed over 54. 26 million sq. ft. of green building footprint across the west and south of India.

New Players

Araku Coffee
Araku Coffee, which debuted in 2017, is exclusively grown in the world’s largest certified organic plantation, in Andhra Pradesh, in micro-lots and is selectively harvested to express the richness of its unique character fully. Adivasis of Eastern Ghats grow the certified organic, luxury coffee brand that finds its origins in the ancestral terroirs of the Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh, and it is developed by international coffee experts. “By retailing in Paris with a flagship store in the Marais region and winning best coffee awards in France, we have started rewriting history for the Adivasi farmers in the Araku region, Indian coffee, and social entrepreneurship,” says CoFounder Manoj Kumar.
www.arakucoffee.in

Davines

The Davines Oi Collection
The Davines Oi Collection

Founded in Parma, Italy in 1983 by the Bollati family, Davines Group started as a research laboratory, producing high-end hair care products for renowned cosmetic companies worldwide. It debuted in India this year. Their hair care products use natural and biodegradable ingredients. To offset the environmental impact, Davines has been using renewable energy from natural sources such as sun, wind, water and soil, to supply its plants and offices since 2006. Every product formulated, designed and produced by Davines is obtained with 100 per cent clean energy. “Growth means something only if we can keep our integrity in what we want to represent. We aim at using our business model as a positive lever, by creating value, and awakening in all possible ways the desire to protect the environment and the people. We only use renewable energy resources, valuable and natural ingredients, always adopting the right scientific rigour, to ensure maximum safety for our consumers,” says Davide Bollati, Chairman, Davines Italy”.
www.davines.com

St. D’vencé

St. D'Vence Multani Mitti Lotion with Natural Rose Water
St. D’Vence Multani Mitti Lotion with Natural Rose Water

Launched in 2017, the skin-care brand is PETA validated, 100 per cent vegan and not tested on animals. Their products are exported to Senegal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and South America. Their manufacturing plant in Palghar, Maharashtra. “The harsh environment, along with melanin in our skin, makes our skin extra sensitive with a predisposition to pigmentation and dust. St. D’vencé’s team has created vegan, safe and effective skin-care essentials to address these issues,” says Yash Hisaria, CEO of St. D’vencé.
https://stdvence.com

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