Peace of mind: the quintessential luxury

Sue Thomas

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Phoenix-like the luxury sector renews itself, whether by innovation in design or in response to social changes and consumer psychographics. It is an intriguing anomaly: enacting sustainability methodologies and practices like ‘slow make’ (production), low waste and careful garment care. But it excludes customers due to the price and availability of the product, which could be perceived as opposite to the perceived holistic inclusive tenets underpinning sustainability. International luxury fashion corporations and labels like Kering (2014) who own Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, and Stella McCartney, and Prada (2015) have begun to refocus their priorities, and lead change with their published sustainability goals via reports and website. Inherently
luxury is about the highest quality fabrication, design, make and service. Yet across the fashion industry consumers are experiencing unease or cognitive dissonance fuelled by media reporting ethical dilemmas. In the luxury end of the market understandably client/ customer will desire both the luxury product and the confidence an ethical of a supplychain. Logically, the luxury sector interpretation of sustainability, responsibility and ethics: would offer to their clients the quintessential luxury: peace of mind. In the past the sustainability discourse has been predominately located around fast fashion in middle and lower markets. Whether a recent addition, or a deeply embedded (previously un-marketed) inherent value, the ethical intent of a sustainable supply-chain presents a strategic facet of future luxury. In this paper both the relationship and proximity of luxury and sustainability will be explored by focusing on both the impetus and the outcome of the strategy: ethics. Specifically, applied ethics within the luxury supply-chain the highly desirable outcomes of absence of concern by their clients will be discussed. In
the light of the Paris Agreement (2015) from COP 21 and the UK Modern Slavery Bill (2015) ethics are no longer only the playing field of the enlightened. It is timely as there are lessons to be applied and methodologies to be modelled and shared. Undoubtedly there is a potentiality for courageous concepts of ethics within luxury, thus it is vital to speculate on a future of ethics in the luxury sector.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016
EventIn Pursuit of Luxury Conference 2016 - LIM College, New York, New York, United States
Duration: 6 May 20166 May 2016


ConferenceIn Pursuit of Luxury Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleIPOL 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address


  • ethics
  • luxury
  • peace of mind
  • supply-chain
  • sustainability


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