Traceable leather footwear designer Josefin Liljeqvist joined global luxury brands at IMD in Lausanne

”We are still small in scale compared to the others who participated but we have created some good global frameworks and national policies for animal-based products,” the emerging designer tells, also sharing her key insights from the event.
November 09, 2021

After several years of research, the Swedish designer has created a line of the world’s first traceable leather footwear.

— It’s to guarantee that the leather is coming from responsible farms in Sweden that have the highest focus on animal welfare. Each of our traceable leather products comes with an RSiD — a unique traceability code — allowing the customer to trace the origin of the leather and also learn more about the farm and the farmer’s philosophy. This is to educate around the importance of traceability for animal traced products so you as a client know what you are supporting, she tells.

Last year, she became runner-up in the Luxury Innovation Award by Luxury Venture Group in Geneva, Switzerland.

— One of the jury members was Stéphane Girod, Professor at IMD in Lausanne. This is the 5th year that IMD and Stéphane have the Reinventing Luxury Lab, a two-day event where he picks case studies, brands, and individuals that reflect the topic of the Lab of that year. This year, the topic was Purposeful design and highlighted the challenges luxury currently is facing when it comes to inclusivity and transparency. 

— With our focus on animal protection, being the core of the brand, Stéphane reached out during the spring and asked if I wanted to present what we are working on when it comes to animal traceability and animal protection. We are still small in scale compared to the others who participated but we have created some good global frameworks and national policies for animal-based products, and to this day animals are still looked over in the sustainability and climate change discussions especially in the luxury fashion industry, so that’s the perspective me and my brand brought to the panel.

What were your key insights from the panel?

— The event was a two-day event focused on day one around Purposeful Luxury/Sustainability and the second day around Strategic Agility. The panel I was in focused on disruption and activism but other brands, like Chanel, talked about how they measure sustainability and impact, Chloe talked about their re-branding journey to become mission-led. Others who gave insights were IMD, Google, Forbes, Kantar Insights, and Porsche, Liljeqvist tells, continuing,

— The mix was great which lead to insightful conversations around ”how to measure sustainability linked to profit”, ”does a brand need a purpose”, and, my personal favorite from the panel, this idea of ”when we all in the world are in a race to survival — climate change, biodiversity loss — it’s no longer a race of out-competing your competition but making the world win”.

— I don’t think that the last conversation would have happened a couple of years back and that was really interesting as that sets the tone of the changes that not only are starting to happen but really needs to happen. Hearing these kinds of conversations from some of the biggest luxury brands gives hope even if there is, of course, a long journey ahead to support the statements, conversations and really walk the talk.

Josefin Liljeqvist and her traceable sneakers at Lake Geneva