Dubai: A good product is no longer enough to win a consumer's favour. Increasingly, customers want to have a positive impact on the environment. In fact, research shows that 88 per cent of consumers want brands to help them be more environmentally friendly.
Yet, many global industries, such as F&B, fashion and beauty, are notorious for wasteful practices that are hurting the environment.
Dubai is a unique city that has a diversity of offerings. From heritage to entertainment, shopping and dining residents and visitors to the city have so much to do. But brands based in Dubai are pioneering a sustainable movement now more than ever.
The gastronomy experience goes beyond Dubai’s towering metropolis, where one can find a bourgeoning produce scene that reflects the city’s diverse ecosystem and sustainable food resources. What’s more, with a large focus on food security and regenerative farming practices, the agricultural sector continues to grow with a record number of ecological farms for tourists and locals to visit, as well as take-home fresh produce.
“At Atlantis, The Palm we looked at increasing our use of local suppliers and vendors as part of our commitment to drive the whole local economy,” said Kelly Timmins, Director, Conservation, Education and CSR. “We are trying to see how we can source perishable products responsibly. Sustainability is a journey and to get there we need the involvement of our community.”
Atlantis, The Palm recently launched a new initiative, dubbed the Atlantis Atlas Project, which promises a long-term sustainability drive on a resort-wide level. Eight of their restaurants including Nobu, Bread Street Kitchen, Hakkasan, Seafire Restaurant & Bar and more, offer environmentally-friendly menu items. The hotel’s culinary team have worked closely with UAE-based farmers, businesses and accredited suppliers to develop sustainable dishes featuring locally sourced, seasonal and organic ingredients.
The beauty industry is in on it too
When it comes to environmental effect, the beauty industry is anything but beautiful. According to Zero Waste Week, cosmetics businesses produce more than 120 billion units of packaging each year, resulting in the annual loss of 18 million acres of forest.
Since it was founded by Christian Dior in 1947, Dior has taken an interest in matters of responsibility and sustainability. “Working with biodiversity and not against it, for the mutual benefits of resilient soils, the environment and the plants cultivated,” said Laurent Kleitman, the CEO of Parfums at Christian Dior. A priority objective for the House of Dior is eco-design in the service of packaging and retail, for a luxury experience that is compatible with the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle.
The strategy involves products in refillable formats for our most iconic lines, the evolution of sales points towards a reduced environmental impact and gift packaging composed of more than 90 per cent recycled materials.
Dior’s sustainability initiatives also include responsible sourcing of ingredients for an increasingly positive impact on biodiversity; a high-performance natural element in its skincare within the most demanding safety standards, and eco-design in the service of sustainable luxury.
Sustainability in jewellery
Companies use huge amounts of the planet’s resources, and in turn, have huge impacts. It’s critical that sustainability is at the core of their sourcing, production, and distribution to make sure the world we live in continues to be habitable for the people these companies benefit from.
"We’re still a young brand, and sustainability is something we’re dedicated to investing in long-term. As we grow, we are looking into new layers to address, surrounding product and beyond, including working with recyclable materials and tackling the many challenges we see across the supply-chain," said Emanuel Brendarou, Founder and CEO of Terrasuya.
"We look at sustainability across different layers, with product at the core. This is where we are currently focusing, by designing quality products that last longer, whilst also trying to promote a quality-oriented mindset rather than constantly pushing volume through discounts. This is often an area that is neglected when companies talk about sustainability. To us, real sustainability starts with addressing product lifetime and the way we “consume” as customers."
With the environment forever being a focus, Terrasuya, a homegrown jewellery company is going against the grain and change the pre-existing beliefs around fine jewellery and sustainability. The selection of raw materials and suppliers have to respect human rights and are fairly sourced high-quality materials, and make a sustainable environmental impact.
With consumers looking to move away from fast fashion, fast food to more environmentally friendly options that are as stylish and delicious as they are responsible, brands need to start at a micro-level while maintaining a long term macro mindset.