American Marketer


Luxury floats sustainability initiatives, advice for World Oceans Day

June 8, 2017

IWC supports the Cousteau Society. Image credit: IWC


In honor of World Oceans Day, a number of luxury brands and retailers are reaffirming their commitment to aquatic conservation.

With sustainability an increasing topic of conversation and concern for the luxury industry (see story), one of the key issues they are tackling is man's effect on marine ecosystems. Whether reducing, reusing or recycling plastic or funding research, brands are taking on the challenges facing oceans around the globe.

Diving in
Kering-owned label Stella McCartney chose World Oceans Day to launch its new partnership with Parley for the Oceans, which aims to protect biodiversity in the global seas through the help of creative individuals.

Identifying pollution as one of the biggest threats to oceans, Parley has launched the Parley Ocean Plastic Program. One of the offshoots of this initiative is the recycling of plastics such as fishing nets and bottles found in the ocean into a type of fiber.

The label has already created a product using Parley’s yarn, incorporating the material into one of its athletic shoe designs for Adidas, another Parley partner. Now, the luxury brand intends to use Parley’s recycled plastic instead of polyester in shoes, bags and outerwear, per The New York Times.

On social media, the brand has also drawn attention to the cause, sharing that every other breath can be attributed to oxygen sources in the ocean.

Watchmaker Blancpain, which has been a long-term supporter of the sea. In 2014, it launched its Blancpain Ocean Commitment and corresponding timepiece bearing the same name (see story).

On World Oceans Day, the brand spotlighted the journey of the Gombessa IV Genesis, which was supported in part by sales of the first Ocean Commitment Watch. Laurent Ballesta and his team share some of their discoveries from the 2016 expedition in a short documentary.

IWC Schaffhausen similarly promoted its partnership with the Cousteau Society, an organization founded by engineer, inventor, researcher and documentarian Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Selfridges gave consumers ideas of how to get involved themselves through its Project Ocean initiative. For seven years, the retailer has taken on plastic, eliminating bottled water, beauty products with plastic microbeads and plastic bags, and it encourages consumers to do the same.

Additionally, the retailer does not serve endangered species of fish at its eateries, urging shoppers to do the same.

Four Seasons also spotlighted its work with WiseOceans (see story).