Only a few days ago Dior presented its Spring/Summer 2022 Haute Couture collection. Inspired by the clean, minimal designs, we decided to dive deep into the brand’s sustainability efforts and explore what it has already achieved and what it could do more.
Then and Now
The luxury fashion house was founded in Paris in 1946. Amid the post-war chaos, Monsieur Christian Dior became a symbol of feminism. A visionary himself, Dior appointed women in key positions giving them the opportunity to make important decisions for the future of the company and the fashion industry as a whole.
Ever since, Dior has been counting on the power of women. Today, the fashion leader is often collaborating with female artists and activists. For instance, the company’s spring-summer 2021 menswear collection paid tribute to Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo and Black identity. In 2020, Perfums Christian Dior unveiled the campaign #diorstandswithwomen #diorchinup featuring a series of short clips celebrating extraordinary women and bold femininity. The maison’s latest show featured monumental artworks by contemporary Indian artists Madhvi and Manu Parekh.
Today, the fashion house is controlled and chaired by Bernard Arnault, who is the head of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group. LVMH has been keen on promoting social and environmental responsibility among its businesses for years and the influence of the group on Dior’s sustainability practices is visible.
Among the fashion house’s priorities is the protection of natural resources. Monsieur Dior was an avid gardener. As a kid, he used to live in a seaside house near Granville in Normandy. There, his mother turned the gardens into the lushest of Edens and his second passion, gardening, was born. Actually, his mom’s rose garden inspired the scents Dior created during his lifetime. Later, the designer admitted that his life and style owed almost everything to Les Rhumbs – his childhood home. Today, the garden is part of the Musée Christian Dior.
To honor its founder’s passion, the house of Dior has been working together with female flower cultivators on restoring culturally important gardens all across France. For instance, Dior financed the planting of 600 rose bushes in the Queen’s Grove at Versailles in 2021. The company is also aiming to restore La Petite Provence, a planted area in Jardin des Tuileries.
Besides that, Dior aims towards organic cultivation and regenerative farming techniques when it comes to the ingredients the company uses for its perfumes and beauty products. Not long ago, it started the #BEAUTYASALEGACY initiative, stressing on the responsible sourcing of ingredients. Dior also introduced the refillable Rouge Dior Lip Balm, which is made out of 95% natural ingredients, and altered the packaging of their Rouge Dior, which is now selling in refillable cases. Additionally, according to LVMH’s 2020 Social and Environmental Responsibility Report, the Christian Dior Sauvage Eau de Parfum refillable bottle reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 56% and water consumption by 35% by decreasing the amount of glass used.
The company is also committed to renovating its boutiques with the ultimate goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, Dior introduced a unique concept store in Dubai that uses a 3D printing system developed by the World’s Advanced Saving Project (WASP) and natural materials like clay, sand and raw fibers.
However, what more could Dior do?
The company still has some significant areas it could improve on to maximize its sustainability efforts.
To begin with, Dior is not a cruelty-free brand. Dior as a company does not test its final beauty products on animals. However, it should be noted that Dior sells in China, where it is required by law to test beauty products on animals. In the spring of 2021, the Chinese government announced that it would allow imported “general cosmetics” to be sold in the country without being tested on animals. It is unclear whether all of Dior’s products fall under this category.
Additionally, although the high-end brand has some vegan products, a significant part of its offerings contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products. Nowadays, with the advance of technology, luxury brands could invest in materials R&D and look for more animal-free options.
Also, Dior could do better in terms of supply chain transparency. According to the Fashion Revolution 2021 Transparency Index, Dior scores 22 out of 100 in terms of transparency. Twenty out of the 250 brands included in the index have a score of 0, while only one brand scores above 70. However, as compared to 2018, when Dior’s score was 0, the luxury brand has made a significant improvement, especially in terms of social and environmental policies and commitments.
The fashion leader has definitely made some progress in recent years in terms of driving social and environmental changе. We hope that the company would continue this trend as luxury brands could and must play a huge role in promoting a more conscious lifestyle in harmony with nature.