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Luxury brands choosing to adopt new and modified logos to demonstrate sustainability efforts to consumers

Louis Vuitton, Prada and Valentino have all adopted modified and modernised logos to launch their sustainable lines, with Louis Vuitton's new logo first appearing on upcycled clothing and accessories as part of the brand's Spring/Summer 2021 menswear collection, Prada's logo being used since 2019 to signal their intention to phase out all virgin nylon, and Valentino's modified logo featuring on trainers which contain recycled and bio-based materials. 

It is really positive to see luxury brands raising their game in relation to their sustainability credentials and it is interesting to see that these long-standing luxury brands are choosing to adopt new logos to demonstrate this shift. This piece from Sarah Kent at Business of Fashion raises a really interesting point about the importance for brands to do more than just use these logos for virtue signalling, however, and to actually be able to back up their sustainability claims to avoid being accused of greenwashing. The article suggests that the adoption of standalone logos for these collections is a sign that luxury brands are recognising that what their clients want and what is considered to be luxury can and should also be sustainable.

From my perspective, I wonder whether another sign that these brands are taking sustainability seriously and seeing it as part of their long-term plan is the fact that they are registering these new logos as trade marks in their key territories. If logos are intended to only be short-lived, brands may choose not to go to the expense of registering them or will only file for a limited list of goods and services, but where brands have long-term plans for logos, it is definitely recommended to register these. What we are seeing with the examples of Louis Vuitton and Prada is that they are registering their sustainable logos widely and in relation to a broad range of goods and services and thus are demonstrating that they place significant and long-term value in these. 

It’s not unusual to see big fashion brands seek to play up efforts to operate more sustainably these days. But adapting something as iconic and central to a major luxury label’s identity as its logo is a big deal, and Louis Vuitton isn’t the only brand experimenting with such moves for select products: Prada has tipped its iconic triangle with an arrow, reminiscent of a recycling sign, while Valentino has similarly added arrow heads to the ring around its ‘V’. In some ways these moves are emblematic of the central tension in fashion’s fraught relationship with sustainability, blending conspicuous consumption with virtue signalling. But they also speak to real change in the way luxury’s most powerful players are thinking about what drives brand value and resonates with consumers.

Tags

fashion & retail, brands & trade marks, climate change
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