Handbags and Accessories

Louis Vuitton Handbags and the Future of Sustainable Fashion

By Erica Kagan
Shop Louis Vuitton Econyl Nylon Collection Handbags , Immediate Shipping Available
 Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh Felt Line Keepall, 2021
Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh Felt Line Keepall, Fall/Winter 2021

An Eco-Design Movement

The effects of the environmental crisis have grown impossible to ignore. And, as this very crisis has made clear, fast fashion is a large part of the problem. The apparel industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, second only to oil. With 80 billion pieces of new clothing made each year – a majority of which ends up in landfills – fast fashion’s impact on our already fragile ecosystem is at an all time high. Yet, in the face of crisis, some brands have taken charge as sustainable change-makers, and Louis Vuitton is a shining example.

As a first for the luxury brand, Louis Vuitton disclosed progress on its environmental goals in the fall of 2021. As reported by WWD, “Vuitton said it already reuses or recycles 93 percent of its event and window materials. In addition, 69 percent of energy to power workshops and logistics sites is renewable; 52 percent of raw materials are certified sustainable; 32 percent of its worldwide store network uses full LED lighting, and one-third of its product categories — leather goods, small leather goods, luggage, shoes and perfume — deploy an eco-design process that includes a life-cycle assessment.” Ultimately, the goal is to reach 100 percent on each of these measurable sectors by 2025.

Louis Vuitton is on a “committed journey” to improving the health of the planet, and the brand’s efforts have ramped up tremendously in the past few years. Vuitton’s ambitious climate objectives for 2030 (which have just been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative), includes a drastic 55 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions. As explained by CEO Michael Burke, “If we want to make durable, lasting, impactful change, we have to have agreed-upon ways of measuring it, or else progress will not be made, and we’ll just be stuck in PR statements. The industry has to go beyond PR statements, and get down and start doing the tedious, yearlong efforts that are required.” Ultimately, this is a global crisis that will only be resolved if the entire fashion industry bands together.

Louis Vuitton OnTheGo GM Econyl Nylon Beige and Brown Monogram Gold Hardware, 2021

The Path Towards Circular Fashion

In a dedicated, mission-based effort, Vuitton has embraced an eco-design approach that is redefining fashion standards. Currently spanning sneaker and bag offerings, Louis Vuitton is subjecting all product categories to the same goal: 100% eco-design by 2025. “We try to plan on selling one fewer rather than one more, which is intrinsic to luxury,” explains Burke, as minimizing inventory is a quantifiable eco measure that also increases brand exclusivity. Additionally, Vuitton prides itself on an eco-conscious repair process, with the brand’s workshops refurbishing and fixing a collective 500,000 bags per year. Demand for repairs has increased a reported 20 percent over the past five years, with leather straps being the most repaired handbag feature. The fashion house prepares for these repairs, as Louis Vuitton customers love their accessories so much that they tend to wear them out over the span of many years. “Nobody throws away a trunk!”, exclaims Burke.

Louis Vuitton Maxi Multi Pochette Econyl Nylon Pink and Black Monogram Gold Hardware, 2021

A Reimagined It-Bag 

Louis Vuitton has mastered the art of sustainable fashion, as pieces crafted from Econyl Regenerated Nylon are every bag lover’s dream. A luxe and soft material, Louis Vuitton’s most classic and highly sought-after silhouettes are now designed in Econyl. From the OnTheGo and Speedy to the Multi-Pochette (available in an eye-catching pink), this cloud-like, durable material is a must-have in all styles. Every detail of the LV Pillow collection is crafted to eco-design perfection, including a leather patch in the bag’s interiors – sewn from existing stocks – that sports a new logo. And, for the luxury brand’s most tremendous feat, each of these nylon bags contain 90 percent sustainably sourced materials.

Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandoulière 25 Econyl Nylon Green and Brown Monogram Gold Hardware, 2021

Circular fashion is the future, and Louis Vuitton is paving the way. In one of his final collections, creative mogul and artistic director Virgil Abloh spearheaded the Louis Vuitton Felt Line: “a capsule offering of jacquard bags, crafted using organic cotton, recycled wool-based jacquard, 100 percent recycled polyester derived from excess fabric stocks, and recycled plastic.” Designed in the Keepall, Keepall XS, and Soft Trunk silhouettes, this capsule seamlessly blended radical design with sustainable luxury. The fashion industry is transforming at an unprecedented pace, and there is no better time to invest in the eco-movement of the future.

More from Sotheby's

Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos, events & news.

Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

Close