Researchers from Columbia University and Georgetown University have published a new paper in Marketing Magazine It examines how consumers can adopt a sustainable consumer lifestyle by purchasing luxury, upscale and durable products.
The study to be released soon in Marketing Magazine, Titled “Buy Less, Buy Luxury: Understanding and Overcoming Neglect of Product Durability for Sustainable Consumption” by Jennifer Sun, Silvia Belleza, and Nero Bahariya.
What is the common denominator between luxury products and sustainable goods? Luxury goods have a unique and sustainable characteristic that gives them a longer life than low-quality products.
Sustainable consumption is on the rise with all consumers. However, millennial and Generation Z consumers have been more vocal about their desire to embrace sustainability. Several trends pointing to such a tendency, such as “buy less, buy better” and “slow fashion,” as evidenced by the trend of celebrities dressing identically at multiple awards ceremonies. Consumers who advocate these lifestyles seek fewer high-end products that will last longer rather than many inexpensive products that will be quickly phased out. However, these trends and movements still represent niche sectors because products with very expensive prices do not fit the stereotype of sustainable consumption generally associated with restraint and moderation.
Fast fashion retailers like H&M and Zara allowed consumers to purchase disposable clothing and accessories, contributing to a 36% decrease in the average number of times a piece was worn 15 years ago. While fast fashion gives consumers access to trendy, albeit short-lived, and affordable clothing, it also imposes high environmental costs. In fact, the fashion industry has become one of the biggest polluters, contributing 10% of global carbon emissions as well as 20% of global wastewater.
“We suggest that luxury goods have a unique and sustainable characteristic of being durable, which includes being long-lasting and timeless in terms of elegance, allowing them to have a longer life than lower-quality products. Focusing on the apparel and accessory industries, we found that advanced products can have a longer life,” says Sun. Be more sustainable than mass market products. “
However, why do consumers have a hard time seeing sustainability and luxury being compatible? Despite the long-term nature of luxury goods, sustainable luxury can be a paradoxical concept for consumers as many ignore the durability inherent in luxury products. Regular consumers prefer to buy many mass market products rather than fewer high quality items. “This is due to neglecting the durability of the product, and failing to think about how long the products will last, even though durability is an important product trait that consumers really appreciate,” Belleza explains. How can marketers help consumers focus on durability? Researchers say that when the long-lasting nature of high-quality products is emphasized, consumers are more likely to overcome their durability and carelessness and buy less but better high-quality products.
While consumers can actively participate in the sustainability movement through selective purchase of less durable products that last longer, companies can also benefit from an emphasis on product durability, an attractive and timely trait that is directly related to sustainable luxury. In fact, many high-quality brands, such as Pivotte, Everlane, and Cuyana, as well as more established luxury and luxury brands, such as Patagonia and Loro Piana, encourage the use of high-quality materials and timeless patterns that extend the longevity of their products.
“Focusing on the sustainability aspect of sustainability can be an effective marketing strategy for high-end brands to promote their products while at the same time helping consumers engage in more sustainable consumption practices. This means that an emphasis on product durability may shape consumers’ actual buying behavior while promoting a trait,” says Baharia. Central to luxury brands. ” In fact, there are two prominent campaigns that directly speak to these results, namely the Patagonia advertisement “Buy less, demand more”, which assumes that buying less and more durable Patagonia products is a good thing for consumers and the environment, as well as the famous “generations” of Patek Philippe “campaign. , Which suggests that the brand’s watches are so durable and timeless that consumers only take care of them for the next generation. Marketers and high-end product brand managers can emphasize the durability of their products to help consumers overcome neglect of product durability and push them toward buying fewer and better goods for a more sustainable future.
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