Sustainable Innovation – the Key to Our Survival

Swarovski at the Forefront of Sustainable Innovation in the Fashion Industry

Sustainability is more than a mere buzzword for Swarovski—it underpins everything the company does. Robert Swann, the first man to walk to both the Arctic and the Antarctic Poles, summed up the perilous situation when he said: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

Swarovski Sustainability Innovation EventAware that the future is a collective responsibility requiring immediate response, Swarovski is resolutely playing a leading role in persuading the fashion industry—one of the most polluting on the planet—to transform itself. This is why the crystal company hosted its first Sustainable Innovation panel talk at London’s Barbican on November 21 in front of a highly engaged audience. Moderated by Rachel Arthur, editor-in-chief from fashion The Current Daily, panelists vigorously discussed issues that included changing customers’ expectations and getting the fashion industry to make a concerted push toward sustainability. Speakers included Claire Bergkamp, Worldwide Director of Sustainability and Innovation for Stella McCartney; Dom Bridges, founder of Haeckels; Nina Shariati, Transparency and Innovation Business Expert for H&M Group; and Dax Lovegrove, Global Vice President Corporate Sustainability & Social Responsibility at Swarovski.

Kicking off with a champagne reception, fashion industry attendees mingled amid a fascinating exhibition of pieces designed using upcycled crystal and other responsible materials, among them jewelry from Atelier Swarovski made with Fairtrade Certified Gold and laboratory-created stones, and crystallized runway looks from Vivetta, Richard Quinn and Victor & Rolf.

Bring on the day when the worldwide fashion industry evaluates its collective practices according to the simple question: “What ecological footprint will this process leave on our planet?” To paraphrase poet William Butler Yeats: “we must tread softly, for we tread on the dreams of generations to come.”