I am pleased to send
you the seventh newsletter on the activities of the Centro de
Estudios para el Lujo Sustentable [Center for Studies on
Sustainable Luxury], which mission is to assist luxury companies
in their transition to sustainability, encouraging sustainable
business practices across all areas of the organization and its
supply chain. This means taking a broader picture to ensure that
social and environmental issues are completely integrated into the
In this issue, I would
like to present some conceptual guidelines on sustainable jewelry
and to make some comments on the third edition (2013) of the Best
Performance in Sustainable Luxury in Latin America Award, as
well as to provide information about the Dialogue “Relating
Luxury, Sustainability, and Biodiversity".
If you have any questions, please
do not hesitate to contact me.
Miguel Angel Gardetti
Center for Studies on Sustainable Luxury
(54 11) 4702-0242
Edition -2013- of Best Performance in Sustainable Luxury in Latin
The purpose of this
Award -organised by the Center for Study of Sustainable Luxury-
is to acknowledge the culture and practice of sustainable luxury in
the private sector to civil society organisations and mass media
professionals. For this reason, a recognised jury selects the
winners strictly based on their merits, which –on the occasion of
this third edition and to date- is made up of well-known
international personalities in the subject area:
María Eugenia Girón
(author of the books “Inside Luxury,” published in 2009 and
“Diccionario sobre Lujo y Responsabilidad” (Dictionary on Luxury and
Accountability) published in 2012. Besides she was the winner of the
Best Spanish Business Woman in 2004 due to her performance in
Carrera y Carrera).
Dana Thomas (author
of The New York Times bestseller: “How Luxury Lost Its Luster;”
she has also written for the New York Times Magazine, The New
Yorker, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar).
(Latin American referent in fashion sociology and author of several
books, such as, “Historia de la Moda Argentina” [History of
Argentine Fashion] and “La Muerte de la Moda, el día después” [The
Death of Fashion, the Day After]).
Founder & CEO, Redress. She has been extensively recognised for
her work, including a mention as one the Most Influential Women in
2010 in environmental issues by the US online magazine Coco Eco.
Ana Laura Torres
(who contributed to the creation and development of the Center for
Studies on Sustainable Luxury and the Center for Sustainable Textile
which she has been coordinating since March, 2011).
Prof. Jem Bendell,
who authored the report called “Deep Luxury” on luxury brand
responsibility prepared for the World Wildlife Fund –WWF- (UK).
(Project Director of Responsible Ecosystems Sourcing Platform
Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production based
in Germany which includes fashion and luxury).
Awards will be given
in these categories:
sustainable luxury clothing and accessory company
sustainable luxury jewelry or watch company
sustainable luxury tourism company (including luxury hotels)
sustainable luxury beauty company
sustainable luxury breakthrough/innovative company
sustainable luxury track record
The best media
professional/journalist in sustainable luxury
sustainable luxury project outside Latin America.
At present, the award
includes 30 people nominated by an international panel of
experts. These companies/organisations or people are from –in
alphabetical order-: Argentina (4), Belgium (1),
Brazil (3), Colombia (1), Chile (3), Denmark
(1), Ecuador (2), Spain (2), Italy (1),
Mexico (1), Monaco (1); Peru (1), Switzerland
(1), United Kingdom (5), USA (3), and Venezuela
(1). Even though many head offices are located outside Latin
America, their operations have a (positive) social and environmental
impact on the region. Moreover, this third edition includes the
category “Best Project outside Latin America”.
The award ceremony will be held in Villa Ocampo on October 31st at
2:45 p.m. This mansion was the home of the well-known writer,
essayist, translator and intellectual Victoria Ocampo.
Throughout the 20th Century, this house was the meeting point of
some of the best intellectuals and artists worldwide, Rabindranath
Tagore, André Malraux, Waldo Frank, Gabriela Mistral, Igor
Stravinsky, Graham Greene, Jorge Luis Borges, Le Corbusier and
Albert Camus, just to name a few. Victoria Ocampo was an active
promoter of cultural diversity. Before she died, she donated her
house to the UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organisation, “so that it helps, in a live and creative
spirit, promote, study, experience and develop cultural, literature,
art and social communication activities.”
Dialogue “Relating Luxury, Sustainability, and Biodiversity”.
The above Dialogue
will take place prior to the award ceremony. As a frequent user of
and beneficiary from biodiversity, the luxury industry has both the
opportunity and the responsibility to become increasingly involved
in biodiversity management and conservation. Biodiversity creates an
opportunity for companies to innovate and evolve by offering a
source of raw materials, technology, and business opportunities.
Unfortunately, the relationship is not always mutually beneficial.
Raw material supply and extraction may cause a decline in population
and damage to the ecosystem.
This dialogue –with
the participation of Eduardo Escobedo and Miguel Angel
Gardetti, moderated by Ana Laura Torres- will provide a
framework to discuss the need to redefine the current luxury
industry to become more sustainable. Thus, luxury companies will
gain insight into the role companies can play in promoting and
supporting biodiversity preservation through their internal
operations and both global and regional supply chains.
about ethically obtaining jewels and precious metals have led luxury
jewelry brands to redefine excellence in business. Therefore,
corporate responsibility needs to be integrated as a core business
function, not only to address these issues, but also to promote more
responsible aspirations in the entire sector as well as in society.
María Eugenia Girón –member of the Advisory Board of the Center for
Studies on Sustainable Luxury- holds that a good manager should be
humble and intelligent enough to continually analyse the strategy so
that it can be adapted and even changed. This is because the
environment is in a state of rapid changes and only those that can
anticipate future movements will make progress, and this is
particularly relevant for the luxury industry that needs to
anticipate trends and identify new opinion leaders. Determination
and flexibility are advantages in an industry ruled by arrogance.
Let us analyse an
interesting example. Oro Verde is the first program of its
kind in the world. The purpose of this initiative is to reverse the
devastating damages caused by large-scale mining exploitation in a
unique ecosystem like the Chocó Biogeographic Region, in Colombia.
This project promotes compliance with environmental and social
criteria for gold and platinum extraction among traditional mining
communities. These precious metals are manually extracted by African-Colombian
families that have owned the land for generations. And even though
there are more efficient methods to extract gold in mines using
chemicals, the truth is that, for these communities, the Chocó
ecosystem is not a mine, but their homeland. Oro Verde buys
these metals from certified families for a surcharge. Oro Verde
supports the production chain from the mine to the market by
offering these families technical assistance to improve their
livelihood, while developing markets for these metals in Germany,
Canada, Colombia, Denmark, USA, France, The Netherlands, Japan,
United Kingdom, and Sweden, among other countries. It charges a
premium on the international price of gold and platinum and, with
the resulting surplus, it set up a community social investment fund
that belongs to the producers and is used for mutually-agreed local
development projects. Moreover, Oro Verde led the creation of
the Alliance for Responsible Mining, which develops a global
certification system for responsible traditional and small-scale
mining as per the Fair Trade principles. This new international
standard certifies with Fairtrade and Fairmined those small-scale
mining groups that comply with certification criteria.
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Centro de Estudios para el Lujo Sustentable
Av. San Isidro 4166, PB "A"
(C1429ADP) Buenos Aires
(54 11) 4702-0242