Hélène Valade, LVMH: “Rituals need to be reinvented”

Date - 2023/11/23

After six years at Suez, Hélène Valade became Environmental Development Director for the LVMH Group in January 2020. Sourcing, second life for packaging, new materials, and innovation: she talks to Formes de Luxe about the group’s major objectives and reveals some of its packaging projects.

What are the group’s strategic priorities in the face of environmental challenges like raw materials shortages and carbon footprint reduction?

Hélène Valade: There is no champagne without grapes; there is no perfume without flowers. Our relationship with nature is very strong, and our challenge is to give back what we borrow from it. This connection with nature is the basis of our LIFE 360 program, which includes targets with dates and figures for 2023, 2026, and 2030, and extremely concrete action plans in four areas: creative circularity, biodiversity, climate, and traceability/transparency.

You have set a target to have all new products be 100% eco-designed by 2030. What is your action plan?

HV: We began by developing measurement tools. We’re working with the start-up Fairly Made, which has developed algorithms that can be used to analyze products in terms of eco-design. The first results should be available by the end of the year. But that hasn’t stopped our brands from taking action already, notably by using recycled, upcycled, or biosourced raw materials. Luxury’s very reason for being is to change the codes of beauty. And they don’t have to be perfect, smooth, and symmetrical. There can be rough edges that reflect the origin and nature of the raw materials used.

Repair and second life are also key considerations when it comes to creative circularity…

HV: Our products are inherently made to last, to be handed down from generation to generation. We are strongly encouraging repair at each of our brands by providing specific expertise. Sourcing repair parts requires extremely well-organized logistics that affects all our businesses.

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