Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Tuesday, September 12, 2023


We recently caught up with Lucy, the CEO and Owner of Coco de Mer, to explore her impact on the luxury lingerie and sexual wellness industry. With a clear mission to empower women and create positive change, Lucy set out to transform this niche brand into a global luxury icon. She shares what she’s learnt along the way, the challenges she’s faced and her advice for aspiring sustainability leaders.

. . . 

Hi Lucy! When did you start at Coco de Mer and how long have you been in this role?

I joined Coco de Mer as CEO in 2014, and then led an MBO in 2017. I was just so passionate about the brand – I felt like it had always punched above its weight, but was yet to realise its full potential. It had been considered a niche brand in the past but as conversations around sexual wellness moved more into the mainstream, it had the potential to be so much more – a global luxury brand, focused on female pleasure. That is why I then decided to buy the business. After 3 years at the helm and an entire career in the lingerie industry, I knew that this was the brand I wanted to own and grow. I wanted to place the focus back on women, on the importance of female pleasure and the female gaze as a path to empowerment.

What three things do you think make a great leader?

Having a clear vision is key to keeping things on track and engaging others. Enthusiasm and passion are infectious in all walks of life. Finally, empathy and adaptability are vital these days.

What three things would the people around you say make you a great leader?

Having a clear vision is key to keeping things on track and engaging others. Enthusiasm and passion are infectious in all walks of life. Finally, empathy and adaptability are vital these days.

What is the toughest lesson you learnt?

When I completed the MBO in 2017, sexual wellness was not in the mainstream yet – it really was still a taboo. Male Venture Capitalists who were keen to invest did not see a female owner in the world of erotica as a serious investment, more a frivolous one, and crucially, they did not have the foresight to see that focusing on celebrating women and female pleasure was a good commercial opportunity. Finding the capital on my own was the only way to realise the company vision and my mission, and is testament to the brand we know now.The fact that gender equity is still a conversation truly baffles me. Empowering women is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-leverage investment you can make in human beings. It feels as though we have waves of glass ceilings being smashed, of the patriarchy being rivalled and human rights feeling more balanced and inclusive, but then situations like the overthrowing of Roe vs Wade come along, and FGM is still so prevalent. The female choice and the female body are still being discussed in a way that feels so antiquated and offensive, not to mention the devastating effects these backward steps have on marginalised women globally. And yet the people in power are showing us once again that we need to keep fighting for our rights – to our voice, to our body, to our freedom. The entire ethos at Coco de Mer is based around empowering women and the current status of women in the world today, reinforce that our work is not over and our drive is stronger than ever.

And the most rewarding?

Being a brand with purpose is crucial, and a deep belief in championing women’s causes underpins all my goals for Coco de Mer. As a business, and personally, I work with NGOs and activists in the fight against FGM, in addition to striving to break down taboos around female sexuality. Through this work I have met the most inspiring women – survivors who, despite the challenges they have had to overcome, are full of joy and passion.

What is the one piece of advice you wish you had been given early on in your career?

I would probably say risk more and risk earlier. My younger self had energy and time that I would happily have now! Your power to achieve, even at a very young age, is limitless. Take risks from time to time or you’ll never achieve anything.

What is your immediate focus for creating positive change as a leader for Coco de Mer?

In the short term we are still on a high from our Positive Luxury certification and it’s given the team such a collective drive to keep riding that wave and keep improving our impact, on an environmental and social level. We are clear and consistent about our purpose and driving that forward; waving the flag for female empowerment and pleasure. We will keep striving to educate and celebrate, creating a genuine positive change in society and culture. We will continue to raise awareness for inequalities and injustices against women. We will help end FGM. We will continue to use our platform to highlight and educate on the need for gender equality. By focusing on these matters which feel intrinsically linked to the core of Coco de Mer, we believe that we will be able to help break down the taboos of female pleasure, to encourage a more open conversation and healthier relationships with, and increased respect for, the female body.

And your long-term goals?

I want to shine a light on the extraordinary power, potential and importance of female pleasure and sensuality, providing our customers with a safe place, built by and run by women, creating beautiful products that empower and delight. I’m driven to make sure we help end the barbaric use of FGM. I want to be part of making female pleasure a ‘normal’, healthy and safe discussion, not a fight against the outdated patriarchal system, or a taboo that can’t be tagged on social media – there is nothing to be ashamed of and I want to be part of that understanding. Because pleasure is a necessity, not a luxury.

< Back

About Positive Luxury

 Since 2011 Positive Luxury has been accelerating organizations' adaptation to the new climate economy, keeping clients ahead of cultural and economic shifts. The company's unique four-part methodology is the only ESG assessment and certification program designed specifically for the luxury industry and incorporates a particular focus on innovation. Visit: www.positiveluxury.com and follow @Positiveluxury  

 Rejecting the traditional model rating past performance, Positive Luxury provides clients with precise gap analysis and the ability to identify and address current and future sustainability risks and diagnostics. In addition, the Connected Butterfly Mark communication tool also helps them leverage areas of strength and opportunities for competitive advantage.

 Companies that meet Positive Luxury's exacting standards for certification are approved for the Butterfly Mark, a globally respected trust mark, independently verified, signaling that companies meet the highest standard of sustainability best practice across ESG+: environmental, social, governance and innovation. With a growing community of nearly 200 luxury companies, Positive Luxury has created a community of brands, retailers, and suppliers taking tangible action – measuring, managing, and reporting their ESG impact.


Diana Verde Nieto, Co-founder, and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury 

Diana Verde Nieto is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury, a pioneer in ESG, and a globally recognized figure in sustainability. Diana holds a degree in Global Leadership & Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, was trained by Former USA Vice President Al Gore at the Alliance of Climate Protection and was subsequently honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. In addition, Diana sits on various boards, including BA&SH and Grass Roots Soccer, an adolescent health organization that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize youth in developing countries.

"Consumers, employees, and the investment community demand transparency and accountability from brands, and our new Connected Butterfly Mark answer to that. From a single source of truth, people can easily access an unparalleled depth of verified ESG+ verified performance data, including a brand's sustainability journey, clearly stating their actions and ambition. This level of disclosure raises the bar for Luxury and beyond." Diana Verde Nieto, Co-Founder, and Co-CEO of Positive Luxury


Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO

Amy Nelson-Bennett brings 25 years of global experience across business transformation, brand and commercial strategy, and digital commerce and communications gained across media, retail, and luxury goods. Most recently, she led the successful turnaround of Molton Brown as CEO & President and joined the PE-backed Clive Christian Group to modernize the brand and operations and deliver rapid growth. Amy is responsible for the strategic direction of Positive Luxury, brand and commercial strategy, and day-to-day business operations. By championing a new definition of Luxury that aligns with the core principle of Luxury and sustainability, she aims to accelerate the actions of the Luxury industry and the collective positive impact it can make on nature and society. 

"Our unique four-part methodology – assessment, certification, trust-building, and future-proofing – ensures every luxury business can continuously improve its ESG performance, realize ROI and optimize sustainability as a driver of corporate value. In addition, the Connected Butterfly Mark certification sets a new public disclosure standard for certified companies and the unique value Positive Luxury provides to luxury brands, retailers, and suppliers." – Amy Nelson-Bennett, Co-CEO of Positive Luxury.

For more information, please contact: Amore Philip | Apples & Oranges Public Relations | 929-229-5512 | Admin@aoprllc.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Amore Philip
Title: P.R. Director
Group: Apples & Oranges Public Relations
Dateline: New York, NY United States
Direct Phone: 929-229-5512
Cell Phone: 347-683-6626
Jump To Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts Jump To Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts
Contact Click to Contact