Winners of the IE Sustainable Luxury Awards were announced in Madrid yesterday, honoring a handful of talented and innovative brands that have taken the meaning of luxury to new levels. The awards are jointly organised by Fundación de Estudios e Investigaciones Superiores, Buenos Aires, Argentina and IE Business School, Madrid, Spain.
Its aim is to recognise and honour the practice of sustainability in the luxury and premium sector. The winners were Loewe, Elvis & Kresse, Soneva, Spazio Sumampa and Danish Institute Fashion. Prizes are divided into three categories: Apparel and accessories, Jewellery or Watches and Tourism (including Hotels). On this occasion none of the candidates met the requirements for the watch and jewellery category so prizes were only awarded fory Fashion and Accessories, and Hospitality.
The winners were:
Fashion and Accessories category
UK company Elvis & Kresse. The firm makes its pieces using waste materials from the London Fire Brigade, mainly discard fire hoses (pictured on home page).
Luxury resort chain Soneva is a pioneer in sustainability with its battle against climate change. The hotels, in the Maldives and Thailand, are designed to “decarbonize” the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide, instead of producing it. In addition to these two prizes, there were three honorary recognitions:
Danish Fashion Institute (DAFI): Recognized for its capacity to disseminate – it promotes the integration of sustainability and social responsibility in the world of fashion through international events, such as Copenhagen Fashion Week.
Spazio Sumampa: Recognized for its contribution to sustainable luxury in Latin America, helping to generate sustainable income for women in the province of Santiago del Estero (Argentina) and through ancestral textile art that is of great historical and cultural value.
Loewe: The Spanish firm was recognized for its long trajectory, having distributed traditional Spanish craftsmanship since 1846. It has also made a great effort to preserve traditional leather-working crafts, by including them in each stage of its production process. The company’s responsible approach is recorded in a sustainability report which details the processes, the people, and results. The awards were presented at the IE Business School campus, in the Paper Pavilion, designed by architect Shigeru Ban. Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of French oceanographerJacques-Yves Cousteau, served as master of ceremonies.
Ms. Cousteau is a champion of the environment and sustainable management practices for aquatic resources, and an ambassador for OCEANA. Executive Director of the awards, María Eugenia Girón, spoke about what the awards are designed to promote: “Sustainable luxury means a return to true luxury,” she explained. “To manufacture products made to last forever by people striving to make their mark while creating them. This is the essence of a luxury product.
These prizes recognize the companies that have always understood luxury in this way. Our awards are also aimed at entrepreneurs who launch projects with the conviction that the world has no need of brands that do not serve to make it a better place.” The honorary prizes are awarded in the spirit of the initiative, which, as founder Miguel Ángel Gardetti mentioned, “Are not only a way to gain greater respect for the environment and social development, but should also be synonymous with culture, art and innovation in different countries, and with maintaining the legacy of local craft.”