Column: Positive Luxury CEO Diana Verde Nieto on the butterfly effect of responsible shopping

By Tempus | 05 Feb 2019 | Leaders

The Positive Luxury CEO shares how Generation Less is changing the way we buy, dine and travel

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* Positive Luxury CEO Diana Verde Nieto tell Tempus about the butterfly effect of responsible shopping

Diana Verde Nieto is CEO of Positive Luxury, a digital experience platform bringing together mindful luxury brands, curated through the Butterfly Mark.

We’ve all heard so much about Millennials and Gen Zs and how they want to change the world. But we’ve forgotten that people in their 40s, 60s and even 80s have those same motivations and desires. Generation Less is a mindset – we all want to be part of the conversation and actually have a positive impact, not just in the world but in our vocation.

The reality is that younger generations feel more empowered to make these differences because they’ve been a lot more interconnected at a younger age, thanks to the digital world. One phenomenon we found in our recent report, Generation Less, is the fact that although we often paint a negative picture of how younger entrepreneurs are demanding and hard to work with, older generations actually want the same things.

For example, travel is one area where younger generations have instilled the ‘millennial mindset’ in their parents. Today, we’re seeing older generations taking extravagant round-the-world, trip-of-a-lifetime sabbaticals, exploring in entirely new ways, which is wonderful. As we all become more empowered, it affects brands in every sector.

Our focus is shifting from how much we can have and what we own, to this hunger for valuable experiences – from materialism to dematerialism – and that shows in everything from travelling abroad to shopping for clothes. People want to be challenged, to have something unique and to have transparency in making their choices.

I think in the past we focused too much on an expectation of perfection. To be considered sustainable, a brand needed to be perfect, to be 100% correct in every aspect. People are only now realising that total perfection doesn’t really exist, and that sustainability is about a journey. It’s about celebrating the steps that brands are making towards this goal, and how these positive impacts are accumulating slowly but consistently. >> 

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* London's Hotel Cafe Royal has been awarded Positive Luxury's coveted Butterfly Mark

From a retailer’s perspective, Selfridges is one of the best examples in terms of how its buying strategy is increasing impact. The department store actively curates products and brands that enable people to buy better and with more transparency, and that influences its brands to look at their own supply chains.

We also award brands with the Butterfly Mark – Positive Luxury’s interactive mark that enables people to know at a glance that this brand is making a positive impact on the world. In terms of travel, Hotel Café Royal in London also has the Butterfly Mark at point of booking, because you can really see where the hotel is investing and the kind of place in which you’re going to be spending your time.

Further afield, SALT Resorts and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas also have the Butterfly Mark. In fact, more and more hotel and hospitality brands are joining us, because they have a double impact – not just physically in terms of how they conduct their businesses, but thanks to how they educate their guests and work with local communities.

We’ve awarded the Butterfly Mark to more than 100 brands across beauty, fashion, travel, premium drinks and jewellery – including Christian Dior, Dom Perignon, IWC Schaffhausen, Aromatherapy Associates – all of whom are going beyond minimal sustainable practises to make a real impact on people and the planet. And the thing that excites me most is that this is not going away. Sustainability is here to stay.