Dior in Court Administration & the Case of Luxury Fashion

Is Luxury Fashion Sustainable and Ethical as They Claim?

Dior in court administration highlights the case of luxury fashion, bringing to light a harsh reality. Luxury brands pride themselves on labelling their products and practices as the only sustainable and ethical fashion. But the truth is way far from that high-standard patina. The reality diverges significantly from the beautiful policies displayed on their websites or the public declarations made during panels, events and fashion shows.

Luxury & sustainability: the image of dedication

Let’s take a step back. In 2019, magazines and millennials applauded Maria Grazia Chiuri for explicitly tackling sustainability. “A topic she’s grappled with privately for some time and that’s becoming a growing focus at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the luxury conglomerate that owns Dior,” you can read on WWD.

The same WWD article notes: “The group recently bought a stake in the Stella McCartney brand, known for its green credentials, and appointed photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, founder of the Good Planet foundation, as an advisory board member. LVMH is set to unveil further environmental initiatives at a press conference in Paris on Wednesday.”

The news: Dior in court administration

Now, back to the present day. According to Reuters, “an Italian subsidiary of French luxury giant LVMH that makes Dior-branded handbags was placed under court administration on Monday, after a probe alleged it had subcontracted work to Chinese-owned firms that mistreated workers.”

Italian police conducted inspections at four small suppliers operating in the Milan area. The staff lived and worked “in hygiene and health conditions that are below the minimum required by an ethical approach.” Additionally, the workers had to sleep in the workplace to ensure “manpower available 24 hours a day.” Moreover, safety devices had been removedfrom the machinery to allow faster operation.

The current investigation into labour exploitation within Italy’s fashion supply chains is shattering the immaculate image brands use to describe themselves. Indeed, it exposes the connection between luxury brands and sweatshop conditions.

Specifically, this is the Milan court’s third decision this year regarding pre-emptive measures. In April, they accused Giorgio Armani Operations of inadequate supplier oversight. 

However, Reuters has seen a copy of the latest decision: the court stated that prosecutors alleged the rule violations were not isolated incidents among fashion companies operating in Italy, but rather a systematic issue driven by the pursuit of higher profits.

“It’s not something sporadic that concerns single production lots, but a generalised and consolidated manufacturing method,” the document said.

No comment from LVMH. Armani stated that it has always implemented controls to “minimize abuses in the supply chain.” Fun, isn’t it? Is a 2/3€ per hour pay a minimisation of abuses?

More data on investigations here:

Behind the Seams: Fashion Industry & Forced Labour

And here:

Workers’ Rights in the Fashion Industry

The case of luxury fashion

In conclusion, let’s repeat this concept once again: fast fashion and luxury fashion are two faces of the same coin. For different budgets, but operate through the same exploitative pattern of overproduction.

Is luxury fashion sustainable and ethical, as they claim? Not at all. It’s a marketing manipulation. Mass-produced garments made in sweatshop conditions are neither sustainable nor ethical. High-end brands sell a dream, an illusion of luxe. And, If quality is an illusion crafted by marketing, so is luxury. What once was known as luxury fashion isn’t really luxury anymore.

Indeed, luxury fashion has nothing to do with true luxury.

The absence of moral fabric within the industry is evident, and consumers demonstrate disregard by ignoring this issue despite the wealth of available information.

The point is: does it still make sense to support these brands?

Leave a Comment