The righteousness of sustainability in the retail trade is now as abiding as motherhood and apple pie. Everyone in the business talks about it. Surveys find nearly all consumers are paying attention to what leading brands are saying and doing about it. Sustainability has become an element of brand value.

But I’ve noticed that luxury brands in particular seem to be so focused on the usual suspects—logistics, energy, Fair Trade, supplier transparency—that they’ve overlooked vulnerabilities in customer experience and perception, and thus loyalty. Leading brands of the future will be those which successfully redefine luxury in the context of sustainability. Easier said than done.

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