The International Herald Tribune organised a conference a couple of weeks ago on sustainable luxury, and according to an article published in the newspaper itself "leading industry executives say that they are trying to change the image of the luxury goods business by embracing new environmental and labor standards."
Many in the industry now speak of the need to go from a world that had embraced a concept of "fast fashion" -- where dresses or handbags are designed and produced quickly to meet the latest fad and then thrown away the next season -- to one that embraces "slow fashion," where goods are made by hand and meant to endure for decades.
This nascent "slow fashion" movement has taken its cues from the now-popular "slow food" movement, which -- besides emphasizing slow cooking methods -- has also made efforts to support small, local farmers and to promote the use of local, seasonal produce.
Mark Vanderbeeken is a senior partner at Experientia, an international experience design consultancy, based in Turin, Italy. He is also the author of the successful experience design blog Putting People First. Mark is a specialist in visioning, identity development and strategic communications and worked in Italy, Denmark, the USA and Belgium. He was communications manager of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, European communications coordinator for the World Wide Fund for Nature (or WWF), marketing director of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (USA) and chief press officer of Antwerp 93, Cultural Capital of Europe (Belgium).