Luxury’s dirty little secrets: High fashion, high carbon

For years, luxury brands have escaped the same level of scrutiny shown to fast fashion brands regarding their environmental practices. Hidden behind prestigious labels, there is a misguided assumption that the higher the price for an item, the more sustainable it is. But we need to hold luxury brands accountable too, because they control a huge amount of money, power, influence, and most importantly, emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions from some of the biggest names in the luxury fashion sector are only increasing, despite growing attention of high-profile sustainability initiatives like The Fashion Pact. In 2021 the fashion houses behind brands Chanel, Saint Laurent, Celine and Dior emitted roughly 9.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent — that’s more than half the emissions made by the entire country of Cambodia, an apparel hub with a population of 16.7 million people and a textile GDP in the tens of billions.

This is why Action Speaks Louder has teamed up with KPOP4PLANET to target luxury fashion with a new report, Luxury’s Dirty Little Secrets, and campaign urging brands to decarbonise their supply chains and reduce their emissions.

KPOP4PLANET is a global movement of Kpop fans calling for meaningful climate action from powerful corporations. Kpop fans are passionate about their idols, so when it comes to companies using Kpop’s growing influence to sell their products, the KPOP4PLANET community is perfectly placed to hold them to account for their impacts on the planet. In the fashion industry, luxury brands regularly recruit Kpop stars as ambassadors in order to grow their profits. Yet as KPOP4PLANET points out, while the k-idol “brand ambassadors are A+, brands’ climate commitments fail.”.

That’s why the new High Fashion, High Carbon campaign targets four brands associated with leading Kpop group BLACKPINK: Chanel, Kering (Saint Laurent), and LVMH (Celine and Dior). The campaign  is asking these brands to commit to 100% renewable energy in their supply chain by 2030, set an absolute emissions reduction target of at least 43%, and provide full transparency on their supply chain, including energy mix, emissions and renewable energy procurement.

As part of this campaign, we have co-published a report exposing Luxury’s Dirty Little Secrets. This report scores the four brands against various criteria relating to their climate commitments and actions, including their emissions at scopes 1, 2 and 3, their targets on emissions reductions and renewable energy in the supply chain, and details of their decarbonisation strategy including financial support for suppliers, procurement of renewables and how they are working towards short-term, interim targets.

The key findings of the report are that all four brands have failed to meet the scale of the climate challenge. For example, all brands have increased their scope 3 emissions over the past year, none of the brands have set an emissions reduction target aligned with the latest climate science, and we are yet to see demonstrated action towards a credible climate transition plan from any of the brands, with a lack of transparency on renewable energy procurement and support for suppliers to transition away from fossil fuels. However, Saint Laurent performed marginally better than the rest due to their supply chain renewable energy target, and Chanel performed the worst because of an exceptionally weak emissions reduction target.


If these billionaire-owned brands step up and commit to meaningful climate action by investing in deep decarbonisation of their supply chains — where the majority of emissions are produced — they can help accelerate the green energy transition globally.

Join Kpop4Planet’s campaign:

  1. Sign the petition,  
  2. Share the report
  3. Vote for a brand
  4. Follow along on social media for updates.