“For these shoppers, sustainability matters in where they spend their money, and they look for markers of social and environmental awareness from the companies they support.”
What are you buying when you pay $5 for a cup of organic, single-origin, fair-trade coffee? Or a locally produced, sustainably sourced linen tunic? Or a Tesla Model X electric SUV?
A delicious, attractive, or well-engineered product, of course. But luxury goods are rarely just about the product. People do want good design and craftsmanship, and high quality ingredients and materials. But they pay a premium for something more than that. Often it’s the subtle conveyance of good taste, access, and wealth. And increasingly, that high status is suggested in the language of conscious consumerism: “organic,” “sustainable,” “ethical.”
The luxury industry is waking up fast to this reality, and responding with a slew of products and services geared to what the sociologist Elizabeth Currid-Halkett has called the “aspirational class”— those who “earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies.”…[read the full article at qz.com]