Sustainable luxury might take some sacrifice, but it is possible.

Just last weekend at the G7 Summit, French president Emmanuel Macron announced a "Fashion Pact" that has now been signed by 150 brands; many of which are high-end. Brands such as Gucci and Burberry have signed the pact, vowing to adhere to a set of objectives that will reduce the fashion industry's overall environmental impact. This is encouraging news, as many of the brands who have signed the pact don't have the best track record with sustainability. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, some are questioning how luxury fashion will maintain its appeal if materials such as leather and cashmere are replaced with eco-friendly alternatives.

History of luxury brands going sustainable

Several luxury brands have been on the sustainable fashion bandwagon long before it was even a hot topic. Stella McCartney, for example, has been practicing sustainability since founding her self-titled brand in 2001: all cashmere is recycled, no real leather or fur is used, and all cotton is organic. McCartney is not the first to explore the realm of faux fur, however. It is said that the anti-fur movement really began back in the 80's and 90's, with brands such as Fendi and Calvin Klein opting for synthetic fibers.

How luxury can be made sustainable

According to a report from INSEAD, there are three main ways luxury fashion can be made sustainable; without sacrificing style.

1.Adopting a "slow fashion" mindset

Designers have the ability to reduce the number of collections they produce each year. The concern with this, however, is how they will continue to meet consumer demands. Well, the answer is creating collections that are timeless; a concept that encourages consumers to keep their clothes hung in the closet longer, and costs less in the long run.

2. Sourcing alternative materials

This is an easier approach, and is much more appealing to designers who don't necessarily wish to slow their production. Sourcing sustainable materials is easier than ever, and there is no excuse for brands to not entertain the option. In addition, designers can look at reusing old materials obtained through textile recycling programs such as Community Recycling and I:CO.