Sustainability 09/17

Committing to Circular Creativity

Louis Vuitton products are designed to last. At every stage of the creative process, we analyse the environmental impact of our creations throughout their entire life cycle: we preserve biodiversity by using fewer raw resources, in particular recycled and biosourced materials, we contribute to the climate effort by consuming less energy in the production of our materials, and we integrate repairability from the first stages of the creation process. By 2020, 33% of our product categories have already undergone a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

Our commitments

100% of products to comply with an eco-design process by 2025

100% of event & window materials reused or recycled by 2025

Eco-Designing our Products

We imagine innovative creative circularities in order to further extend the sustainability of our products.

Reducing the use of raw materials:

3D Prototyping: All stages of prototyping have been rethought to reduce leftover, from scanning the models to 3D printing. Thanks to this innovative and versatile technology, adjustments or color variations can be made in real-time, both expanding creative possibilities while eliminating material waste.

Re-using materials:

Optimizing the use of materials by turning to recycled and bio-sourced materials: since 2019, recycled materials have been increasingly used in our collections such as the LV Felt line (2021) made out of recycled wool, recycled polyester, and recycled plastic, or the unisex Charlie sneaker made out of 90% recycled and bio-sourced materials.
Optimizing the use of raw materials is one of our primary concerns. In 2018, Louis Vuitton thus acquired its own recycling facility and resource centre of unused leather and textiles.
As part of this initiative, a dedicated permanent showroom has been created, allowing our teams to draw inspiration from it.
The reuse of these materials is now an integral part of our teams' creative process from the very beginning of developping all new collections.
As a concrete example, 9,000 square meters of unused Heritage Leathers were selected then transformed into 130,000 thin strips of leather to make the Summer 2019 store windows.

Upcycling our products:

Upcycling is the art of transforming a product no longer in use into an entirely new product with enhanced aesthetic or functional value. Revealed at Virgil Abloh's very first fashion show for Louis Vuitton in 2019, the iconic LV Trainer took on a new sustainable dimension in 2020.
The sneakers from the Spring-Summer 2021 collection were made entirely out of elements from the very first models from 2019. This unprecedented production allowed for circular creativity and to utilize existing materials.
Launched in 2019, Louis Vuitton’s Be Mindful collection is our first upcycled collection. The Be Mindful collection sees silk scarves from previous collections revisited and given a second life by enhancing a shawl or scarf through new designs or by becoming bracelets, earrings and other accessories.

Optimizing end-of-use:

We continually take on new projects to reduce our residual waste and give a second life to production leftovers.
As an example, leather scraps are recycled into reinforcements for our bags or mixed with paper to create new materials as is the case with the Papier Cuir of our special events shopping bags.
We also seek out the best external end-of-use channels either in terms of re-use (providing materials to young European designers or brands via the Nona Source platform or donating them to charities or medical institutions), or for recycling (creating secondary raw materials for industrial purposes).

Crafting our products to last

Our Client Care & Repair service:

Client Care & Repair workshops around the world ensure that all Louis Vuitton products can last a lifetime and even be passed from generation to generation. The possibility of future reparations to prolong an item’s lifespan is considered from the very first step of designing. To this end, workshops anticipate the need to preserve spare parts which, when necessary, are carefully used to repair items without using new materials, therefore reducing the need for additional raw materials.

Our refillable perfume bottles: Customizable by engraving, all Louis Vuitton perfumes come in a unique bottle that can be refilled in our stores thanks to a proprietary system of innovative fragrance fountains. Not only does this initiative let us increase the life span of a single perfume bottle, but it also pays homage to the Fontaines Parfumées, Louis Vuitton’s historic Grasse workshop. Our eco-design approach starts in the design phase by shaping a single industrial mould for all our bottles, thus making it possible to optimise the use of raw materials while adjusting the tools and manufacturing processes.

Eco-Designing our Events and Windows

We constantly aim to reduce the environmental footprint of our fashion shows, exhibitions and windows throughout their life cycle.

Reducing the use of raw materials

Louis Vuitton takes an eco-design approach to reduce the impact of our window displays on biodiversity.

For example, the Summer 2020 windows featuring a shoal of fish were made of recycled plastic, including recycled marine debris.
The Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring-Summer 2020 fashion show took place in Place Dauphine, Paris, requiring no additional structural construction. As a result, the show generated no structural waste. The few set elements such as tables and chairs were either rented or, if purchased, were subsequently donated to artistic or cultural partners in Paris.

Optimising the end-of-use of materials

Our overall performance

of materials used for our main events in 2020 were either reused or recycled.

Re-use

of travertine, a natural limestone that was used for the floor of the Men's Fall-Winter 2021 fashion show was reused in Louis Vuitton's Beaulieu and Vendôme Villiers workshops.

Donations

of the wood and fabric used in the set of the Women's Spring-Summer 2021 fashion show at La Samaritaine was donated so they could have a second life in the audiovisual production sector.

Recycling

of the materials used to construct the Men's Spring-Summer 2021 fashion show in Shanghai, mostly metal and wood, were ultimately recycled thanks to our partners and local teams.

Read more