‘Responsible Luxury’

Fair Trade’ within the context of fashion, where an emancipation of the ethical consumer “shopping for a better world”, is not always transparent and apprehensible due to difficulties to find a strategy for making the whole production chain ethically secured. Such development might make it difficult for the ethical-oriented consumer, who wants to purchase a product not only friendly for the environment but also for the people who produced it. Luxury brands have to be a step further in their strategy to satisfy the consumer’s needs by offering ethical and at the same time “fashionable” authentic products, which are sustainable per se and not just as a lead in the marketing strategy.

Louis Vuitton collection by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama,July 2012

Consequently, the challenge is to find a balance between the scare and ephemeral nature of luxury products as a part of the consumers’ perception and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which in its turn affects consumers’ attitudes toward these products. Firstly, it can be achieved by building a business which is ethical from its inception or by re-evaluating and restructuring current practices and procedures in order to adapt those to the ethical requirements. Secondly, luxury brands should strategically integrate the concept of social responsibility into the element of ephemerality, changing the consumers’ focus towards so-called “responsible luxury”, where the consumers’ perception of the concept of luxury to a large extent based on ethical issues. As a consequence, it should also change the consumers’ attitude towards luxury products, establishing new shopping habits. The consumer cannot be persuaded but rather taught to make a right choice, and be responsible for that choice and it lies in the hands of luxury brands to cater it to the consumer.

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I believe when knowledge meets passion they can do a lot for a person, making the person pass it on to the people around one and this is how, I think, any changes in the world take place.