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Louis Vuitton is one of the world’s most recognised luxury fashion brands thanks to its distinctive monogrammed accessories and clothing. Unfortunately, the brand isn’t doing enough when it comes to its impact on people, the planet, and animals. So, how ethical is Louis Vuitton exactly? Let’s take a look. This article is based on the published in January 2022.
Is Louis Vuitton ethical or sustainable?
The appointment in 2018 of Virgil Abloh as Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of menswear shook up the 164-year-old French fashion house, as well as the whole fashion industry. The late American designer, DJ, and stylist was originally known for being Kanye West’s creative director, before making waves with his own luxury streetwear label, Off-White—worn by the likes of Jay-Z, ASAP Rocky, Beyonce, and Rihanna.
The designer’s appointment was seen as democratising luxury fashion and bringing youth culture to an elite brand, but did the house of Louis Vuitton also address ethical and sustainable fashion concerns of the younger generations?
In this article, we take a look at the luxury brand’s impact on people, the planet, and animals, to answer the age old question: how ethical is Louis Vuitton?
Unsurprisingly, luxury label Louis Vuitton is simply “Not Good Enough” for the planet. While it has set an intensity target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from its own operations, there is no evidence it is on track to meet said target. There is no evidence it minimises textile waste, and it uses few eco-friendly materials. It complies with its own Restricted Substances List and has eliminated some hazardous chemicals from its supply chain, but the brand has not set a time bound target to eliminate all hazardous chemicals. Like numerous other luxury fashion houses, Louis Vuitton also regularly burns unsold stock, contributing even further to the damaging fashion industry that values exclusivity over sustainability at every turn.
The brand also scores “Not Good Enough” for its treatment of workers across the supply chain. It received a score of 21-30% in this year’s Fashion Transparency Index, and its final stage of production is undertaken in medium risk countries for labour abuse. Sadly, the brand discloses inadequate policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19, and there is no evidence is ensures payment of a living wage in any part of its supply chain or that it implements practices to support diversity and inclusion also in its supply chain. People are the backbone of the fashion industry and Louis Vuitton needs to do much better and provide safe and fair working conditions for all.
Louis Vuitton is rated “Very Poor” for the animals because of its use of fur, down, leather, wool, exotic animal skin, and exotic animal hair, though it has a basic formal policy to protect animal welfare. Such a blatant disregard for the wellbeing of the sentient creatures we share the planet with is outdated, and with so many vegan fabric innovations out there, using them in such a way simply isn’t necessary any more.
Overall rating: Not Good Enough
Louis Vuitton has been rated “Not Good Enough” overall based on information from the research done by our team at Good On You. Note that Good On You ratings consider 100s of issues and it is not possible to list every relevant issue in a summary of the brand’s performance. For more information see our How We Rate page and our FAQs. Consumers deserve to know who made their clothes, and what impact their clothing choices have on the planet and animals. Louis Vuitton needs to become much more transparent, and do far more to reduce its impact on people, the planet, and animals in order to meet the expectations of a new generation of fashion lovers.
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