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The Luxury Discussion: Sustainability

The Luxury Discussion returned for another evening of networking, presentations and panel conversation, this time on the topic of sustainability.


Jessica Cresswell, Principal Consultant, Carbon Smart
Making E-Commerce Sustainable for High-End Brands
E-Commerce has changed the world of retail by transforming the customer promise: anything we desire at the touch of a button delivered to our doorsteps. By removing stores we are able create efficiencies. Yet the range, scale and speed at which we deliver goods drive further sustainability challenges that brands can no longer afford to ignore. Plastics is high on the public’s conscience, but other sustainability challenges such as logistics, energy, waste and social issues are gaining momentum. Moreover, the appetite for sustainability is growing resulting in what was once best practice becoming old news. The challenge for brands today is understanding where to focus our efforts across a range of sustainability challenges, whist keeping up to speed. Carbon Smart have worked with world leading retailers, ecommerce outfits, carriers and logistics providers to help focus their attention where it really matters. From sourcing to customer order fulfilment, Jessica’s presentation offered plenty for brands to consider.

Kresse Wesling, Co-founder, Elvis & Kresse
Elvis & Kresse is a Kent based accessories brand producing luxury products from raw materials which would otherwise be sent to landfill. The business began in 2005 transforming decommissioned fire brigade hoses into belts, bags and purses. Last year the Burberry Foundation partnered with Elvis & Kresse to craft new high-end products from 120 tonnes of leather off-cuts over 5 years. Kresse Wesling brought to the panel discussion an acute understanding of sustainable luxury, built from over a decade’s experience.

Anna Brightman, Co-founder, Optiat
500,000 tonnes of coffee is sent to landfill each year in the UK but sibling pair William and Anna Brightman are on a mission to use residual coffee grounds into cosmetics. In 2016 they launched skincare brand Optiat, which now boasts a product range featuring face masks, soaps and scrubs formulated with repurposed coffee grounds, hemp and chai spices. The young entrepreneurs have now evolved their brand into UpCircle Beauty, continuing to create pioneering skincare which is regenerative by design. Anna brought to the panel her experiences of running a sustainability first start-up in the skincare business and a passion for a circular economy.

Claire Muir, Commercial Director, Seko
Kevin Davis, Founding Partner, The Designlab
Sustainable Product & Fulfilment Packaging

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