UCL School of Management

15 May 2024

UCL-Mulberry Sustainability Summit: Innovating Luxury & Sustainability

The UCL School of Management and the UCL Centre for Sustainability Business, proudly hosted a pivotal sustainability summit in collaboration with Mulberry.

This summit brought together esteemed leaders on sustainability, retail and luxury, such as Mulberry’s CEO Thierry Andretta, Ian Earnshaw (CCO), Simon Gresham Jones (CMO), Lilianne Cookson (Global Head of Communications). They were joined by the School of Management’s Director, Professor Davide Ravasi, and the Centre’s leadership team— Professors Paolo Taticchi (Director), Steve Yoo (Director), and Sunny Lee (Deputy Director), alongside other esteemed academics from UCL academics including Professors Bilal Gokpinar, Daniel Ershov, Deyu Ming, Mimansa Bairathi, Rafael Greminger,  Siddharth Singh, Yi-Chun Akchen, and Zhenyu Zhang.

At the summit, Mulberry introduced their Made to Last manifesto, a commitment to transform the business to regenerative and circular by 2030, and covered key achievements as well as leading discussions about the challenges which both they and the industry are looking to overcome. The brand’s Made-to-Last ethos, endeavors to craft products to last for generations, and they elaborated on their innovative Mulberry Exchange program, wherein pre-loved bags can be returned for store credit and undergo repair within their iconic Somerset factory, ready for a new owner. Additionally, the entirety of their leathers is responsibly sourced from accredited tanneries, and are carbon neutral, achieved through offsetting with the World Land Trust. This commitment to sustainability is further mirrored in Mulberry’s pricing strategy, wherein the costs associated with sustainability are not transferred to their clientele, exemplifying their status as a sustainable luxury brand.

From the UCL side, Professor Paolo Taticchi delved into the intricacies of sustainable business practices, exploring contemporary trends in sustainability regulations and recent developments in climate-related litigation. Professor Steve Yoo discussed the symbiotic relationship between sustainability initiatives and the modern advancements in AI and digital technology, illustrating how they can help align sustainability initiatives with profit objectives, minimize disruption in their implementation, and help firms adapt to evolving sustainability regulations. Dr Sunny Lee moderated a fireside chat between Mulberry CEO Thierry Andretta and Professor Davide Ravasi, exploring Mulberry’s unique and enduring culture of sustainability.

This summit fostered rich and insightful discussions between Mulberry’s leaders and UCL academics, emphasizing their shared commitment to sustainable business, operational and organisational practices. The UCL School of Management and the UCL Centre for Sustainable Business look forward to future collaborations with Mulberry in pursuit of sustainable innovation and business excellence.

Last updated Wednesday, 15 May 2024