The luxury market, by definition, is nonessential. These brands typically represent status more than anything else, with products typically costing more than a person’s entire annual salary.
The screenshot reveals a waste basket from the Équilibre d’Hermès collection made of leather strings and solid natural maple for the totally reasonable price of $7,650. Please note sarcasm.
Beyond the absurd price, most trash thrown into this basket would likely find its way out before it hit the bottom because of the non-functional construction.
Founded in 1837 and family-owned for six generations, Hermès remains one of the top luxury brands in the world. It’s also outrageously expensive, as some of its elusive, A-list saddle-stitched Birkin bags it’s known for have sold for over $200,000.
There’s an allure to glamour that captivates consumers — especially when rare items seem to only be attainable by the rich and famous. However, when luxury comes at the cost of people and the planet, is it really worth it?
Beyond the price tag, there’s a sky-high pile of reasons not to support brands specializing in leather goods. The textile and apparel industry is the second-largest polluter in the world, responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon pollution.
In 2020, McKinsey reported that the fashion industry accounts for over two billion metric tons of toxic gases annually — roughly 4% of the world’s total output.
Hermès claims an eco-design, but Good on You gave them an overall rating of “not good enough” in November 2023. To its credit, Hermès repair workshops restored 202,000 products in 2022, according to its website.
Every year, 10 million tons of clothing in the U.S. are tossed into landfills. Secondhand shopping is an excellent way to curb that statistic and reduce waste. While thrifting can be tedious, it’s certainly a more affordable way to find one-of-a-kind pieces, with items typically selling for 36% of the original retail price.
The post garnered a plethora of deserved snarky comments.
“That’s a steal. My current one costs $20,000,” one Redditor joked.
Another person said, “I really don’t see how it’s even worth 1% of the asking price.”
“Well it is quite a waste of money,” someone else wrote ironically.
Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.