Sustainability in Luxury Fashion Business PDF Edited by Chris K. Y. Lo, Jung Ha-Brookshire

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Sustainability in Luxury Fashion Business

Edited by Chris K. Y. Lo, Jung Ha-Brookshire

Sustainability in Luxury Fashion Business

Contents

1 Opening: Sustainability and Luxury Brands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Chris K. Y. Lo and Jung Ha-Brookshire

2 Sufficient Desire: The Discourse of Sustainable Luxury . . . . . . . . . 9

Katie Baker Jones and Joseph P. Jones

3 The Marketing of Sustainability and CSR Initiatives by Luxury

Brands: Cultural Indicators, Call to Action, and Framework . . . . . 29

RayeCarol Cavender

4 Luxury Fashion Brands Versus Mass Fashion Brands:

Data Mining Analysis of Social Media Responses Toward

Corporate Sustainability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Stacy Hyun-Nam Lee, Yi Zhou, Chris K. Y. Lo

and Jung Ha-Brookshire

5 Thematic Analysis of YouTube Comments on Disclosure of

Animal Cruelty in a Luxury Fashion Supply Chain . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

Heejin Lim

6 Mining Social Media Data to Discover Topics of Sustainability:

The Case of Luxury Cosmetics Brands and Animal Testing . . . . . . 93

Chao Min, Eunmi Lee and Li Zhao

7 Cashmere Industry: Value Chains and Sustainability . . . . . . . . . . . 113

Sheikh I. Ishrat, Nigel P. Grigg, Nihal Jayamaha

and Venkateswarlu Pulakanam

8 Sustainability in the Fur Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

Thomas C. C. Wong, Roger Ng and Lei Min Cai

9 The Drivers and Barriers of Luxury Sector Retailers to Adopt

Energy Efficiency Technologies in Hong Kong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

Spencer S. C. Tao and Chris K. Y. Lo

10 Luxury Fashion and Peace Restoration for Artisans

in Colombia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173

Cindy Cordoba

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193

Opening: Sustainability and LuxuryBrands
Chris K. Y. Lo and Jung Ha-Brookshire

Abstract This chapter highlights the importance of exploring sustainability issues for luxury brands, and then it summarizes the key highlights of each chapter of this book (i.e., chapter 2 to 10). We start by addressing the question “Issustainability an attainable goal for luxury brands?”. Through the discussion of the tensions between the luxurybrand traditional operations and sustainability, this chapter provides the reasons for luxury brand incorporatingsustainability goals into their operations, while continuing their focus on quality and artisanship.

Keywords Luxury brands _ Sustainability _ Summary

Is sustainability an attainable goal for luxury brands? The term luxury was originally associated with “a lifestyle of excess, indulgence and waste” (Dubois, Czellar, & Laurent, 2005; Hennings, Stam, & Wenting, 2013, p. 27; Kahn, 2009). At the same time, sustainability focuses on moderate or responsible consumption of our resources to ensure that our future generation would be able to meet their needs on the Earth. Therefore, “excess” or “wastes” certainly seems to have negative impact on what sustainability pursues. Luxury is also associated with rarity. Rare animals’ skins or furs symbolize luxury; luxury products, in this case, require consuming rare animals. Because of these meanings of luxury, luxury is often symbolized social inequality and therefore sustainability is antithetical to or incompatible with the concept of luxury (Kapferer, 2010).

However, today’s consumers demand for sustainable supply chain and luxury products consumers are not an exception. In fact, more recently, luxury brands were criticized for their unsustainable raw materials selection and use of endangered animal skins for apparel products. Consumers started boycotting such brands and it negatively affected luxury brands’ images overall (Davies, Lee, & Ahonkhai, 2011). Following these events, luxury brands, such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Prada, and Chanel, committed to develop comprehensive sustainability programs, including promoting the use of energy efficient light sources, adopting recycling practices in product supply chain, fur-free, and opting for environmental-friendly bioplastic ad native organic wool (Guercini & Ranfagni, 2013; Vij, 2016).

A handful of luxury brands, such as Gucci, Stella McCartney, and Armani, are committed to go fur-free (Featherstone, 2017). These examples show that luxury brands must also pay attention to sustainability and create sustainable supply chain to meet the demands of today’s consumers. As a matter of fact, a luxury market analyst reports that sustainability has become the focus and the biggest goal in the recent marketplace, hoping to improve their brands’ reputation and products’ values (Tutty, 2016).

While developing strategies for sustainable supply chain, luxury brands must be aware of a few critical differences in consumer expectations between luxury and mass market products. For example, luxury product consumers are thought not to believe recycle labeling is necessary because they believe that higher materials used in luxury products should guarantee the durability and a long life span (Catry, 2003, Beckham & Voyer, 2014; Kapferer & Bastien, 2015). In addition, luxury product consumers believed that recycled materials would reduce the values and quality of luxury products, which is quite different from mass product consumers (Achabou & Dekhill, 2013). Furthermore, consumers often are not concerned with sustainability when they purchase luxury products partly because they believe luxury products are already made sustainably (Achabou & Dekhili, 2013; Torelli, Monga, & Kaikati, 2012), and their perfectionism on product quality implies wastage of materials (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999).

With these challenges in mind, Fionda and Moore (2009) urged that luxury brands must focus on their own genetic materials to communicate sustainable nature of their products. That is, first, luxury brands are mostly being considered as heritage brands with long brand history and longevity of product life. For example, the fashion history of Hermes began in 1837, Louis Vuitton began in 1854, and Burberry’s first store was opened in 1856 (Choi & Shen, 2017). Bourne (2010) believed that brand history becomes a significant market indicator for luxury brands, and it inspires consumers to engage in investment shopping. In fact, in the today’s fast fashion marketplace, the luxury industry still achieves US $1 trillion sales, with 14% growth rate in 2015, and it is expected to have a 9% annual growth by 2020 (Bian & Co., 2015; D’Arpizio, Levato, Zito, & Montgolfier, 2015).

Therefore, Fionda and Moore believe that luxury brands must make strategically long-term investments by incorporating sustainability goals to reduce long-term business risks.

Additionally, Fionda and Moore (2009) also points out that the original concept of luxury is exclusive, limited, and hence long lasting. The limited edition and extremely highly priced-products help luxury brands maintain exclusivity in the marketplace. Such exclusivity would then drive reduction in over-consumption of natural resources. Finally, the authors also show that given luxury brands have built a strong positive public relationship with customers via high-quality design, retailing, and service, luxury brands may continue to focus on quality and artisanship while incorporating sustainability goals.

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