Claudia NEWTON, Kerry KIRWAN, Steven MAGGS and Rebecca CAIN
The values of luxury brands largely align with sustainable practices. These
include timelessness, innovation, durability and craftsmanship; all
characteristics that mirror the underlying goals of sustainability. Luxury
brands must ensure that their products meet environmental legislation
requirements, achieve profitable growth and, importantly, meet customer
expectations. The focus on Sustainable Luxury is mounting. However, the
present volume of literature dedicated to exploring the concept is low.
The purpose of this review is to collate and assess extant research in
sustainable luxury. We present an argument for the compatibility between
luxury and sustainability through a review of design and engineering
literature. So, where does a luxury brand fit in a sustainable future? Findings
indicate that consumers are unwilling to sacrifice quality and functionality for
sustainable derivatives of products. There is also an attitude-behaviour gap in
ethical consumption, where consumers demand ethical products but do not
reflect this in their buying behaviour. On the communications side, review
findings suggest that consumers are unreceptive to corporate social
responsibility (CSR) due to their belief that luxury and CSR are incompatible.
The paper concludes by suggesting a means of incorporating consumer
feedback into the luxury design process to facilitate design for sustainability
in the luxury context.
PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014
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