rethink sustainability

    Put down your bags in the land of sustainability with DELSEY PARIS – interview with CEO, Davide Traxler

    Put down your bags in the land of sustainability with DELSEY PARIS – interview with CEO, Davide Traxler

    With operations on five continents in more than 110 countries, DELSEY PARIS, the French flagship of top-quality luggage, stands out with the reliability, design and practicality of its range of travel products and  accessories. Since its creation in 1946, the brand has never ceased reinventing itself. It has anticipated the evolution of uses and trends thanks to a culture of innovation that lies at the heart of its DNA. More than 230 patents have been filed since the foundation of the company.

    In this time, the company has also been implementing specific actions to promote sustainability without ever sacrificing the latter in the name of progress. What specific measures has the brand introduced to reduce its carbon footprint? How has it managed to extend the life cycle of its products to encourage more responsible use? To answer these questions, we met with Davide Traxler, CEO of DELSEY PARIS, who presented his vision and ambitions. He highlighted the particular care given to the production of durable and environmentally friendly luggage and accessories. He then explained how the company came up with a global approach geared towards reducing its ecological impact.


    Could you tell us about DELSEY PARIS and explain your role within the company?

    DELSEY PARIS is a French heritage brand of luggage and accessories. With over 75 years' expertise coupled with the ability to get things done, the company creates innovative and modern products at its Paris design studio. Its range covers any type of travel, whatever the nature or the length of the trip.

    In my role as CEO, I am responsible for defining the growth vectors for DELSEY PARIS. Most recently, I have been involved in the differentiation and radical transformation of the brand identity. Which also entails the development of new products and shifting priority to Asian and American markets. In addition, I implemented a multi-brand strategy which now incorporates licences with premium players from different sectors.

    We are committed to designing luggage that is increasingly more respectful of the environment. We believe that our responsibility here is indivisible from the freedom to travel

    How important is sustainability for DELSEY?

    As a luggage and accessories brand, our vocation is to inspire travellers to explore and discover the world, to "travel with a free spirit". Therefore, we are committed to designing luggage that is increasingly respectful of the environment. We believe that our responsibility here is indivisible from the freedom to travel.

    Read also: How sustainable aviation fuels can put the industry on course for "net zero"

    As an economic player, the brand has been renowned for the quality, robustness and durability of its products since its founding. All our luggage and accessories are eco-designed. They can be repaired, and we offer a worldwide warranty for all our customers. Finally,  as an employer we have the same approach. Our employees are becoming increasingly receptive to sustainable development issues and pay particular attention to matters of Corporate Social Responsibility. We are therefore actively working on issues of well-being at work and the development of more sustainable ways of working. 
     

    CLICchronicles-Delsey_ArticleLOcom.jpgDavide Traxler, CEO of DELSEY PARIS


    In 2019, you structured your overall CSR approach to promote more responsible and more environmentally-friendly mobility. Could you tell us a bit more about this?

    Absolutely. Along with the growing demand for sustainable and recycled goods, we have strengthened and structured our measures to reduce our carbon footprint. We focused our efforts on key areas: the design and innovation of our products and supply chains. Today, 70% of our luggage is made from recycled materials and our goal is to use 100% recycled and recyclable materials by 2028.  Thanks to our innovative approach and easily repairable or replaceable components, we have been able to extend the life cycles of our products. Which allows our customers to hold on to their luggage for longer.

    We are members of AMFORI, a global association for sustainable trade. Membership enables us to implement specific actions concerning our supply chains (we manage over 3 million units annually), to improve the sustainability of our strategy. Thanks to BSCI audits  we are able to confirm that DELSEY PARIS business partners comply with globally accepted standards for social compliance. The audit programme is carried out by a qualified third party.

    Innovation is in fact at the core of our values and in our DNA. It is a crucial factor in tackling the challenges of sustainability

    With over 230 patents filed since the company's founding, innovation is at the heart of DELSEY values. How do you reconcile this with the growing demand for sustainability?

    Innovation is in fact at the core of our values and in our DNA. It is a crucial factor in tackling the challenges of sustainability. We are able to develop solutions that meet sustainable development requirements thanks to our innovative teams and our investments in R&D.

    For example, it took up to three years of research and development as well as a "Test & Learn" approach to develop high-performance recycled luggage. The goal here was to exploit the characteristics of the recycled materials offering the highest quality and greatest efficiency.

    Our teams also implemented a new injection method to reduce and optimise the quantity of material needed to design a suitcase, making it more lightweight. Our priority is to perfect our selection of materials and manufacturing processes to offer our customers innovative, durable and top-quality products, while maintaining affordable prices.

    Read also: The luxury jeweller marrying recycled metals with the rarest gem

    DELSEY has been developing its travel products for over 75 years. How have the ways your customers use your products changed?

    The ways customers use our products have indeed changed considerably during the past 75 years. Production methods and innovations have changed as well, which allows us to offer products that are attractive, functional and secure. A few decades ago, when travel was less frequent, customers needed sturdy luggage, particularly to withstand the rigours of travel. Today, travel habits have changed. People travel more often, whether for work, leisure, or other purposes... trips have become more frequent and need to flow smoothly. Travellers are demanding luggage that is still robust but lighter, more versatile, and more adapted to modern requirements. Multi-carry functionality, for example, is becoming increasingly important to consumers.

    Once functional and utilitarian, today’s luggage has become a fashion accessory, an extension of the style of the person carrying it.

    Our teams work on the life cycle of the products to extend their lifespan as much as possible. All the components used in our suitcases, bags and accessories are fixed with screws and can be replaced

    To extend the life of your products, they are designed to be easily repairable and are a clear reflection of your commitment to sustainability. How do you raise the awareness of your customers regarding this issue?

    We do more than use and develop sustainable materials and invest in R&D. We also put a lot of innovative thought into designing products that last over time. Our teams work on the life cycle of the products to extend their lifespan as much as possible. All the components used in our suitcases, bags and accessories are fixed with screws and can be replaced: wheels, handles, trolleys... Our products are also covered by global warranties of up to ten years depending on the product. And we test the endurance of all our luggage, reproducing the daily life of a suitcase in the laboratory. Our tests are inspired by consumer behaviour with luggage (temperature changes, crash tests, use on stairs, etc.)

    We increase the awareness of our customers regarding matters of environmentally responsible luggage. This we do through our in-store consultants, through various educational communications and on our social networks.


    Lombard Odier obtained B Corporation® certification in 2019, then recertification in 2023, which is concrete proof of our efforts towards sustainability. As a company heavily involved in this area, does DELSEY follow a similar regulatory framework?

    We have recently completed our carbon footprint assessment as well as an audit of our CSR strategy. This will allow us to measure all of our actions and their specific impact to define a direction for the future.

    We have introduced a charter to guide our choices and ensure that we work with suppliers who respect ethical standards. Particular attention is paid to labour issues and working conditions

    Do you include CSR criteria in the process of selecting your service providers and suppliers?

    Working with responsible suppliers is an integral part of our responsible business approach. We have introduced a charter to guide our choices and ensure that we work with suppliers who respect ethical standards. Particular attention is paid to labour issues and working conditions.

    Furthermore, we are members of the AMFORI association. Membership allows us access to a supplier verification platform to make sure that service providers and suppliers are BSCI certified. As far as our service providers are concerned, we are cautious and prefer responsible suppliers. We will soon formalise specific processes to guide our choices and apply to our service providers the ethical charter which guides our selection of suppliers. 


    What do you see as the key progress that still needs to be made in your sector?

    Today, we are already active on a wide range of issues aimed at reducing our carbon footprint and maintaining responsible production.

    One of the challenges facing the sector concerns manufacturing locations. The plastics processing trade specific to the luggage sector has disappeared in the west (Europe, US). We can no longer find the technical skills required to manufacture suitcases.

    On a personal level, what actions have you taken to reduce your carbon footprint?

    I practically no longer use the car, and as far as company cars are concerned, we have chosen hybrid or electric solutions. In my daily life, I pay attention to the origin of the products I consume and the impact of my actions.

    Read also: Towards an electric future: investors at the heart of a new industrial revolution

    I quickly realised that in the years to come, the suitcase would become a true "extension of style" that would profoundly transform the luggage sector

    What are the big next steps for DELSEY?

    I quickly realised that in the years to come, the suitcase would become a true "extension of style" that would profoundly transform the luggage sector and lead the way to a real revolution. There are a number of opportunities and big next steps for DELSEY PARIS. In 2024, we will further strengthen the positioning of the brand in the accessible premium luggage market. In addition, we will continue to pursue our dynamic development in the United States. Here DELSEY PARIS is number 2 in the market and the brand is experiencing its fastest growth. We will also strengthen our positioning in Asia, a strategic continent for the development of the brand. Incidentally, we recently opened our 1st DELSEY PARIS flagship store on this continent in April 2023.

    Finally, we will of course continue to develop the multi-brand strategy with quality licenses, premium brands and international leaders. This strategy will allow us to cover the different market segments and continue to gain market share while maintaining growth.

    Important information

    This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

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