Q&A: Positive Luxury CEO Diana Verde Nieto on the power of trust marks

Q&A: Positive Luxury CEO Diana Verde Nieto on the power of trust marks

International Jewellery London is thrilled to announce that Diana Verde Nieto, chief executive officer of Positive Luxury, will give a presentation at this year’s show on Monday 5th September at 1pm in the Successful Retailing – Olympia Room.

Positive Luxury’s world-renowned Butterfly Mark has been awarded to brands like De Beers, Arctic Circle, Boucheron, Dior, Chaumet and TAG Heuer for their ethical and socially responsible principles.

Here, Verde Nieto explains more about Positive Luxury, the Butterfly Mark and the importance of trust marks among consumers…

Q: What was the catalyst that made you want to establish Positive Luxury and how many brands now have the Butterfly mark?

DVN: My background and my passion have always centred around sustainability, and the desire to inspire business to be a force for good. Luxury is aspirational, and has the ability to make sustainability a positive lifestyle choice; something desirable. That is why I focused on this sector.

When Positive Luxury was established back in 2011, there was no trust mark or accreditation program for this sector, and this is still true today. However, there is an ongoing paradigm shift in luxury towards an ‘inclusive exclusivity’, and sustainability is inherent to the fundamentals of this sector.

We believe that if we can inspire the luxury industry to begin communicating their social good and environmental responsibility, and by making this appealing for consumers, other industries and markets will follow. To date, our program has awarded the Butterfly Mark to 150 brands, and this number will continue to grow.

Q: How can brands go about applying for the Butterfly mark?

DVN: Brands can register online on our website here. Our assessment covers a variety of sectors within the luxury industry, including: fashion and accessories, travel and hospitality, premium drinks, jewellery and watches, and living (which includes childrenswear, home and so on).

Q: Can you summarise the methodology you use to decide whether brands meet the Positive Luxury requirements?

DVN: To mirror the UN’s definition of sustainability, we assess brands on the three pillar of sustainable development: economic development, social equity, and environmental protection. This is done through a set of targeted questions based on their industry, such as fashion, travel, or beauty. Through our collaboration with our sustainability council and external institutional partners, we ensure that our application remains robust as it is updated annually. It evaluates companies across the following five areas: governance, social framework, environmental framework, philanthropy and innovation.

Companies are required to respond positively to a minimum of 80% of the questions and provide additional documents to support their application. Additionally, we developed a semantic assessment tool that allows us to collect and analyse information about brands across social media, blogs and other online forums.

If a brand qualifies, they’re awarded the Butterfly Mark for use on their website and marketing materials and we work closely with the team to spread their positive story through their channels, as well as our own. The application form is updated annually and each brand must re-complete this on an annual basis.

Q: Do you think consumers are actively looking for trust marks when they’re buying products, or do you think there is still work to be done in marketing this to customers?

DVN: Consumers want to be reassured that the brands they are buying in to can be trusted. They are becoming more educated in terms of how to look at and engage with product packaging. Whether it is looking at the calories of a product, the provenance of its ingredients, if its cruelty free, or if they reveal any of their labour standards.

Consumers, especially the younger generation, are looking for any kind of information that would help make their purchasing decision. What is unique about Positive Luxury is that we have this information online. Google is everyone’s best friend, and we make sure that when people make the effort to look for trusted brands, we are a simple click away and can provide them with all the information they were looking for.

Q: How do brands benefit from having the Butterfly mark and what should they do to ensue it has maximum impact?

DVN: Our brands benefit from having the mark because it is a wordless reassurance for consumers that they care. Consumers are able to click on the mark and discover what positive actions the brand is taking to improve their social impact while minimising their environmental footprint.

Brands can further ensure that they are effectively communicating their commitment by putting it on their website or any website that sells their products and services. Brands should be proud of this mark and communicate about it and their actions openly with their audience.

Find out more about this year’s seminar programme here.

Register to attend International Jewellery London here

Register in advance online for the chance to win either an exclusive Champneys Pamper Spa Day for two or an Aston Martin Thrill Day at a famous motor race circuit!

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