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Are millennials really more sensitive to sustainable luxury? A cross-generational international comparison of sustainability consciousness when buying luxury

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Abstract

Sustainable development is on the agenda of all economic sectors. This is a radical change for the luxury market, so far discreet on these matters. In addition, baby boomers have passed the torch to new segments of luxury purchasers: Generation X-ers and now millennials, the latter being described as most sensitive to sustainability issues in general. But is their alleged sensitivity still front of their mind when they buy luxuries? A cross-generational international comparison reveals that millennials’ sensitivity to the sustainability of luxury brands when purchasing luxuries is not that different from older generations. However, the motivations of luxury buyers’ sensitivity (or total lack of) to the sustainable actions of luxury brands differ across generations. Millennials are those who consider the most that luxury and sustainability are contradictory. This opinion is held across countries, Asian or Western, in emerging or mature economies. These millennials’ specificities have strong implications if luxury brands wish to preserve their sustainable future.

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Kapferer, JN., Michaut-Denizeau, A. Are millennials really more sensitive to sustainable luxury? A cross-generational international comparison of sustainability consciousness when buying luxury. J Brand Manag 27, 35–47 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41262-019-00165-7

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