sentiments and behavioUrs of the world’s affluent and high net worth populations



Luxury & Sustainability: The Importance of Sustainability


Sustainability remains at the forefront of many consumers’ minds as they gravitate towards brands which have sustainability and ethics at the core of their propositions. Brands which undervalue, or ignore this issue altogether, run the very real risk of alienating shoppers and losing market share. Despite, or perhaps because of, high levels of pollution in large Asian cities such as Shanghai, Asian respondents are the most likely of the three regions to see sustainability as important, with North Americans the least likely.

On a scale of 1-5, almost two thirds (65%) rate sustainability at an importance of 4 or 5 over the Q4 2018-Q1 2019 period, while only 10% say that it unimportant-neutral to them (1-3 on the scale). From 63% in Q3 2018, the share of respondents identifying sustainability as important has risen to 67% over the past two quarters. It seems likely that this level of response will remain or even rise further in the coming quarters as the global spotlight remains firmly on sustainability.

Unfiltered Base:  1365 global affluent/HNWIs | Source:  LuxuryOpinions/Altiant

Luxury & Sustainability: Trading up for Sustainability


Many affluent/HNW consumers appear to be willing to back up their sustainability views with firm action and spend more for sustainable/ethical luxury. Only an average of 17% across the three quarters of data; and rising to 19% among over-40s; are entirely unprepared to spend any more for sustainable/ethical luxury products.

42% are prepared to spend up to 10% more, which suggests that brands with credible and genuine sustainable features could justify a small price premium. The remaining 41% are prepared to spend more than 10% extra, with 10% even prepared to spend a quarter extra for sustainable/ethical luxury products. Trading up for sustainable goods resonates with both genders equally, while 18-39s are significantly more likely than over-40s to be willing to spend more than 10% extra.

Interestingly, Asians and North Americans show conflicting views of sustainability’s importance against actual value. Asians – who were the most likely to rank sustainability as important as per the previous section of this report – continue to be the least likely of the three regions to be prepared to pay more than 25% extra for sustainability (just 6% in Q1 2019). Meanwhile, North Americans are the most likely to do so (16%) despite its comparative stated lack of importance to them.

Unfiltered Base:  1365 global affluent/HNWIs | Source:  LuxuryOpinions/Altiant

Luxury & Sustainability: Sustainable Luxury Champions


Stella McCartney continues to be the most likely brand which our affluent/HNW respondents cite as a sustainable luxury operator. Sustainability is a key pillar of the company’s ethos, something which has resonated with our affluent/wealthy respondents. Other brands which were among the most cited for sustainability include Chanel, Gucci, Tesla, Rolex and Louis Vuitton.

 Unfiltered Base:  1365 global affluent/HNWIs | Source:  LuxuryOpinions/Altiant
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