Luxury or how to break the status quo in fashion

Miguel Angel Gardetti was awarded the Sustainable Global Leadership Award: "We need disruptive leaders"

Lourdes Delgado. 22/04/2015
Cocccon Photo
Cocccon Photo courtesy of the brand. Click for more information

Miguel Angel Gardetti has been Awared in India with Sustainable Global Leadership Award for his academic contributions in the area of ​​textiles, fashion and sustainable luxury. This prize is awarded by the World CSR Congress of that country. Organization led by professionals who believe and trust in the values ​​of sustainability considering it as an indispensable tool for a better future.

Industry professionals, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability experts are part of the Advisory Council of the World CSR Congress. In this environment the conference «Social Entrepreneurs and Crafts bases of sustainable luxury» was dictated. Back from his trip to India I have had the privilege of interviewing him.

Miguel Angel María Eugenia Girón
Miguel Angel Gardetti and María Eugenia Girón. Click for more information

Lourdes Delgado: What services does the Sustainable Textile Center offer?
Miguel Angel Gardetti: «The Sustainable Textile Center (CTS) provides -the textile sector and the fashion- a broader perspective to ensure that social and environmental issues are fully integrated into the decision-making process by adopting a proper appreciation of the strategic challenge of sustainability. The Center promotes a holistic, multidimensional and more sustainable vision of textiles and fashion, through the generation and transfer of knowledge, education, skills development and strategic alliances». 

«While the Centre has a clear academic and research profile, it enables college students through graduate and postgraduate professors. It also enables designers, entrepreneurs and business executives. One of the main alliances that it has developed is with Argentina -an initiative Global Compact Network UN in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility for achieving sustainable development-. Together with this network, they have been developing the Leadership Training Programme for Change in the Textile and Fashion Industry since 2013. The designer Prakash, Cocccon, fashion enterprise based on the ethical cultivation of the silk that promotes better living conditions for women».

Book presentation (from left to right: Oliver Wayman -BottleTop, UK-, Kresse Wesling -Elvis & Kreese, UK-, María Eugenia Girón and Miguel Angel Gardetti (book publishers), Alberto Bravo and María José Marín (We Are Knitters, Spain) and Daniel Joutard (Ainy, France). Photos: Courtesy of Michelangelo Gardetti. Click for more information

LD: Is sustainability economically, socially and materially affordable?
MAG: «This is one of the great challenges of sustainability: sustainability involves integrating economic, environmental and social aspects which are and interact, being influenced one with the other two, and also integrate the short term with long term, requiring a multidisciplinary approach in all levels. This is linked to the objective of the Centre of Studies for Sustainable Luxury, which says that learning and academic research will be relevant for future sustainable leaders, adopting a proper appreciation of the strategic challenge of sustainability».

LD: In his Facebook profile have been echoed the words of Pope Francis on the impact of consumption on social relations. Just published in Spain Luxury IE Barometer 2014. Can the luxury be sustainable socially?
MAG: «Luxury cannot only be sustainable socially, can be sustainable in the widest dimension of the word. This sector has the power to do so. In addition to sustainability strategies from internationally established brands, this sector start-ups led by entrepreneurs. They are people with a deep connection with social and environmental issues and are highly motivated to break the rules and promote disruptive solutions in these fields. They are leaders who transform, inspire and have a deep consideration of people and the environment revaluing the native culture and crafts.

Cocccon Photo 3
Cocccon Photo courtesy of the brand. Click for more information

«And in practice, this has been perceived in the processes of editions of the Best Performance in Sustainable Luxury Awards in Latin America, in which the organizers could establish deep relationships with entrepreneurs in the luxury sector, for example, Diana Verde Nieto (Positive Luxury, UK); Oliver Wayman and Cameron Saul (Bottletop, UK), Kavita Palmar (The IOU Project), Erwan Le Louer (JEM, France), Carry Sommers (Pachacuti, UK), among others. This award has evolved and currently, in the framework of an agreement with IE Business School, it has become globalized and is called «IE Award for Sustainability in the Premium and Luxury Sectors» attracting the attention of the industry and the press».

«And the story of these pioneers was reflected in the book «Sustainable Luxury and Social Entrepreneurship: Stories from the pioneers» which was introduced worldwide in July 2014 at IE Business School. In the presentation besides book publishers (María Eugenia Girón and Miguel Angel Gardetti) – attended by some of the pioneers with chapters in the book such as Oliver Wayman (Bottletop, UK), María José Marín and Alberto Bravo (We Are the Knitters, Spain), Daniel Joutard (Ainy, France) and Kresse Wesling (Elvis & Kreese, UK). Note the presence of Prof. Joaquín Garralda responsible for sustainability issues of IE».

Cocccon Photo 2
Cocccon Photo courtesy of the brand. Click for more information

LD: Natalia Gamero of Condé Nast Spain, says «The scarcest resource today is talent. In the luxury sector is important to identify the type of leader we need to face the future.» Could you talk about the relationship between talent and sustainability?
MAG: «Natalia Gamero later, in the same cited, mentions the «leadership». My assessment is that we need «disruptive» leaders. It is those with responsibility, dare to break the status quo. Finally, I ask Miguel Ángel his opinion about the relationship between talent and sustainability, his words are the icing on the cake».

LD: Is it urgent to put the talent at the service of sustainability? Does the sustainable development depend on developing talent?
MAG: «Sustainability needs leaders. This is related to the previous question. I mean is that individuals who are committed to their organizations and also with a cause, community or ideology that is fundamentally different from the dominant culture. Probably this commitment is totally opposed to the structure of mainstream thinking. This tension creates challenges but also opportunities».

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