Most consumers of luxury products and services use them as status symbols - symbols of success. However, the definition of success - and the way it is perceived by others - is changing. Increasingly, consumers want the brands they use to address growing concerns that luxury products invariably come at a heavy social and environmental cost. The luxury industry faces its biggest challenge yet in satisfying an emerging demand of successful consumerism - products that meet high environmental, social and ethical standards.This collection sees internationally renowned fashion, luxury and sustainability experts come together to explore the challenges faced - and solutions developed - by luxury goods companies in sourcing, producing and marketing luxury products. Sustainable Luxury: Managing Social and Environmental Performance in Iconic Brands represents the most comprehensive collection of current writing on the nascent relationship between sustainability and luxury. It will be essential reading for academics researching sustainable development in the fashion and luxury industries and it will provide invaluable guidance for practitioners seeking the latest research to help them meet consumer demand for sustainable goods and services.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 15 mm
This ensemble is an outgrowth of an issue of the academic quarterly `The Journal of Corporate Citizenship'. The book contains 11 papers (pruned from 20 submissions). They examine whether and how buyers and sellers of luxury goods and services address sustainability. The works extend the discussion of sustainability into the comparatively unexplored realm confidently and credibly. Each paper is plush with insights, finely written, and scrupulously documented. The authors examine both negative and positive aspects of the luxury industry. On one hand, luxury is seen as feeding itself on scarce resources, continuously triggering or stirring up conflicts, and being opaque about the supply chain. On the other hand, sustainable luxury is often viewed as "the concept of returning to the essence of luxury with its traditional focus on thoughtful purchasing and artisanal manufacturing, to the beauty of quality materials and to respect for social and environmental issues." Among several bottom-line conclusions, this one stands out: "... sustainable development is certainly not a salient purchasing criterion for most luxury buyers, but it can become a rejection factor if specific negative information are released about the brands." Other research in the book shows that sustainable development (SD) "is certainly a desirable concept, but there is, as yet, no overwhelming demand for it." The situation, however, has many facets, like a polished diamond: "It is luxurious to drive without petrol and, in California, to drive a Tesla car instead of a Ferrari ." The risks of brand damage for breaching sustainable development standards are huge for luxury products. Jean-Noel Kapferer, advisor to the president of the French business school Groupe Inseec, and Anne Michaut-Denizeau of HEC Paris, an academic institute for management sciences, drive the point home. Based on attitude surveys they conducted, they say: "One main source of the potential negative reactions of luxury consumers is their false assumption that, because of their high prices, luxury brands must have taken care of SD already. If consumers learn this is not the case, it would backfire." The editors are themselves at the top of the runway. Miguel Angel Gardetti is a textile engineer working with fashion companies. He founded the Center for Studies on Sustainable Luxury in Argentina, which he directs. He is also the head of the Center for Study of Corporate Sustainability in Buenos Aires. His co-editor Ana Laura Torres works at the center in the capital city. She collaborated in the creation of the Sustainable Textile Center there. The two researchers edited `Sustainability in Fashion and Textiles, which Greenleaf published in March 2013. They assemble an intriguing collection. The papers originate from around the world: a description of ethical source initiatives in Sweden and Finland; the identification of challenges, concerns, and aspirations of garment designers and manufacturers in the San Francisco Bay area; comparisons of luxury consumers in Portugal and Brazil; and case studies of species used in the luxury industry, such as the Tibetan antelope and vicuna, and crocodiles and pythons, which are regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. One paper examines how luxury companies manage diversity (gender, age, ethnicity, nationalities, disabilities and sexual orientation) within their organization's culture. The group subject to the review encompasses 17 firms, including Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, Tiffany & Co., Hugo Boss, and Prada. At the conclusion of his contribution about using luxury branding as a catalyst for social change, Gjoko Muratovski, head of the communication design department at Auckland University, makes a salient remark. Based on the success of luxury brands, he says, "[I]t can be argued that sustainable behavior can be promoted as a desired lifestyle as long as it is associated with positive and intrinsic appeals." Collectively, the contributions showcase the luxury goods market by examining its profile, warts and all, in the unflinching light of corporate social responsibility. * Crosslands Bulletin *
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