Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts Positive Luxury -- Sustainability and ESG Experts
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Wednesday, May 17, 2023


With Scandinavian heritage mixed with French design, Cecilie Bahnsen’s relaxed, timeless style lends itself to the modern woman breaching the intersection of ready-to-wear and couture. The brand is going from strength to strength. Cecilie Bahnsen first teamed up with Positive Luxury in September 2019 and has since undergone two assessments, most recently passing the ESG+ framework to earn Butterfly Mark re-certification in March 2023. We catch up with Founder and Creative Director, Cecilie Bahnsen, on her design process, inspirations and how she embeds circularity not only into her collections but also her business model through partnerships and ambassador work.

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Hi Cecilie! When did you start your namesake brand and can you tell us a bit about how it all began? 

After completing my studies and gaining work experience in Paris and London, I returned to Copenhagen in 2015 to launch my eponymous label. I had known for years that I wanted to create my own brand. I love designing not just the fabric and garments in the collection, but the entire universe and the story that surrounds it. I wanted to tell a story of a new kind of femininity, that embraces romance and whimsy, always grounded with a sense of ease.

In terms of your design process, how to you approach this and where do you take your inspiration from?

I have a true love for the touch of hand, so everything is developed from scratch. Our design process often involves taking classic techniques and using them in unexpected ways, giving them our unique touch. We always use the collection from the previous season as a starting point. Considering what we’ve created that we really love and how can we push this further and evolve it for the next collection. In this sense way, there is a timelessness to our collections. You can effortlessly pair pieces from this season with pieces from four seasons ago.

Your Encore collection used upcycled materials from previous collection offcuts and materials, when did this begin and why do you think its important to continue to find ways of reducing waste in your designs? 

Since starting Cecilie Bahnsen, I have always thought about our fabrics as being precious, never to be discarded. Encore launched in 2020, amid the pandemic, with the idea to create something new out of what we already had in our studio. Encore just felt right, so we’ve continued to expand upon the concept since its launch. As an industry, we have a responsibility for the impact that our products and operations have on our planet and our people. We still have a long way to go, but we believe both small and big steps towards responsibility are essential. 

You have been partnering with Asics on exclusive collections too, can you tell us a bit about this? How do the two brands collide?

With ASICS it has always been about movement, motion and mindfulness having fun and ease. Initially we presented a selection of up-cycled trainers at the SS23 Runway Show at Paris Fashion Week, where we carefully embellished the trainers with couture elements to complement each individual shoe. All handmade in our Copenhagen studio, bringing a touch of couture craftsmanship into the everyday. Since then, we have introduced two additional capsules of embellished trainers with a full larger scale collaboration launching this summer. 

In 2023 you became an ambassador for Nona Source, what was it about that programme that made you want to be involved? 

Partnering with Nona Source felt like a natural decision. Nona Source is an LVMHbacked fabric resale platform that “re-sources” luxury fabrics from the houses Maisons. Beyond reducing waste, this also creates an interesting creative challenge for us to experiment with new techniques to manipulate fabrics and re-invent them in the Cecilie Bahnsen way. 

Looking forward, what is your immediate focus for creating positive change as a brand?

We continue to explore new ways of implementing circular approaches in our business model, ensuring our products are worn and cherished for as long as possible. In addition, we are working to increase the traceability and information available to our customers about our products and their lifecycle. 

Finally, how has working with Positive Luxury and earning Butterfly Mark certification changed or informed your approach to your sustainability journey?

We are proud to have been certified with the Butterfly Mark for a second time and for the ongoing collaboration with Positive Luxury. This process has challenged us greatly to look inwards assessing how we do things and has encouraged us to look at the different areas of the business that could use improvement 


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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

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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
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