“What’s better than leather?” Asks Burke, CEO of Vuitton

"What's better than leather?" Asks Burke, CEO of Vuitton

“Are there better materials than leather? Is it better to have a bag that disintegrates after 12 months, or to have one that you can be resold in 50 years, like Louis Vuitton ones?” Michael Burke, CEO of Louis Vuitton, asks this rhetorically, in a long interview published on Business of Fashion. A dialogue that has touched various strategic and productive horizons. With a particular emphasis on durability.

Better than leather?

In the interview to Business of Fashion, the CEO of Vuitton (right, in the photo) insists, above all, on the durability of the product as the first criterion of sustainability. “The industry has taken decades, centuries, to perfect durable products. One of the problems with the majority of greenwashing is that disposable fashion is created. Before thinking about creating recyclable products, we must think that products should last”. Here, then, why leather is to be preferred. In other words: it is “immediately sustainable and durable. What’s better?”. Durability is a concept that quickly ends up calling into question even the unsold one. Louis Vuitton CEO’s solution is simple: increase the percentage of products made only after receiving the order. For example, “most of our exotic or crocodile or alligator leathers bags are made to order”.

Excellent competitive relationships

“Louis Vuitton has excellent relationships with Chanel, Hermès, Cartier and most of the competitors,” explains Burke. Relationships ranging from the supply of leather to the creation of a blockchain. “Don’t forget that we are a supplier for many of our competitors. When it comes to crocodile leathers ,or vegetable dyed cowhide leathers, guess who is the biggest supplier in the world?” asks Burke, who also reveals the close dialogues between the top luxury brands for the creation of traceability, based on an accurate blockchain. And he gives the example of leather. “Where did this cow grow up? What did it eat? Where was it slaughtered? If we don’t have this data, we don’t have the metrics we were talking about 10 minutes ago. And to have metrics, you must have an infallible blockchain”.

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