Premium Beauty News – Why choose flowers as a key target?
Isabelle Sultan - Flowers are very powerful enhancers of biodiversity. And yet, many studies show they are disappearing. According to a study conducted in September 2021 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are becoming extinct twice as fast as animals. Therefore, we need to protect and reintegrate them to the ecosystem. Our commitments and tangible actions for the environment and the climate included a specific role in this field. Flowers are part of our DNA. Christian Dior had a passion for flowers since his childhood. They surrounded his garden and he was fully aware of their power – they guided his inspiration. And of course, it is also because of our perfume business. There can be no perfume without flowers.
Premium Beauty News – More specifically, what action do you take?
Isabelle Sultan - Parfums Christian Dior has committed to using the power of flowers to regenerate ecosystems. We have 42 gardens or partner gardens around the world: in Grasse, of course, in the south of France, but also in Haiti, for vetiver, and in Madagascar. Our commitment lies in the transition of these 42 gardens towards organic and regenerative farming by 2030.
By 2026, 100% of the natural raw materials cultivated in our gardens and partner gardens will also be certified by the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), one of our key partners. The company has also been investing in research and partnerships to better understand the powerful role of flowers in maintaining biodiversity, natural ecosystems and local communities. We have also set up a partnership with Hectar, the world’s largest farming campus dedicated to regenerative agriculture, right next to Paris. The idea is to set up a research programme and partnerships to better understand the role flowers could play in helping biodiversity recover. This strategy will help support future owners, and I also hope it will change people’s opinion on the importance of re-flowering ecosystems.
Premium Beauty News – Then, could we say that the notion of sustainability has become an integral part of the luxury world?
Isabelle Sultan – To me, there is a close relationship between luxury, quality, and good practices: we make products designed to last. A study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group shows that 60% of consumers think it is up to us (luxury companies) to kick off the transition towards environmental protection. We have a real influence on what is desirable or not, and Gen Z demands virtuous practices associated with luxury and desirability. Everybody is aware that we need to turn things around. Consumers are also citizens, and they are ready.
Premium Beauty News - Parfums Christian Dior was one of the first luxury brands to develop refillable skincare products and perfumes. Do consumers play their part?
Isabelle Sultan - We have been working hard over the past few years to offer refillable solutions for our iconic products. Christian Dior already created refillable lipsticks in the 1950s. The offering of refillable products accounts for almost 20% of our portfolio. This proportion should keep increasing, and so will our ability to educate and influence. The first phase consists in broadening our offering and making it desirable. We need to take the time to get consumers used to these new consumption habits.
Premium Beauty News – Other than refillable solutions, what are your targets in terms of packaging ecodesign?
Isabelle Sultan – We believe it is our responsibility to make luxury standards change. The first priority is to have removed virgin fossil-based plastics from all packaging by 2028. Then, we will reduce the weight of packaging materials by 50% by 2030. Lastly, 100% of our packaging will be recyclable or refillable by 2028. For example, the refills of Crèmes Dior Prestige reduce the pack weight by 47% at the first refill, and by 63% starting from the second, which reduces the carbon footprint by 50%.
In addition, thanks to the investment of LVMH in the development of the Eastman plastic recycling plant, Parfums Christian Dior will also take advantage of this innovative molecular recycling technology for plastic waste. The plant will be operational in 2025 and help the brand gradually eradicate its use of virgin fossil-based plastics.
Premium Beauty News – You joined Parfums Christian Dior in January 2021 with a mission: take action as part of a new company sustainability strategy. What is your take on sustainability in the beauty and luxury worlds in the years to come?
Isabelle Sultan – I am very optimistic as regards how the luxury industry will boost sustainability. At Parfums Christian Dior, we are very committed and motivated to integrate sustainability to all levels of our business, to all functions, and to all markets. With the support of Laurent Kleitman, President and CEO, and my whole team, we are doing our best to contribute to making the luxury industry rhyme with sustainability.