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Opinion

Are luxury brands ready to help our generation?

Lara Aksu

By Lara Aksu23 mai 2020

Covid-19 is shaping a new world, and the luxury industry will have to live in it, too. It’s going to be a massive turning point in all our lives – but can it be turned to the advantage of future generations? When I look at my grandparents' consumption behavior and compare it to mine, I see a huge difference. When seniors buy, they do it to fulfill a real need. Meanwhile, in Generation Z, we’re driven by a compulsive impulse to buy. 

Which is totally understandable, since we are constantly being driven to consume. We are immersed in advertising, at all times, across all channels, including through the influencers that we follow on social networks. And yet, even though we all know that fast fashion produces more waste than the luxury industry, young people still tend to turn to these brands for the simple reason that they are cheaper. But this pattern is not sustainable in the medium term. Our ecosystem simply cannot cope. Can luxury brands show us the way and help us overcome this problem that plagues our generation? Can we learn to buy better instead of buying more? 

The way I see it, luxury brands can help point us in the right direction and take the first steps to change our bad habits. Luxury is more environmentally friendly: not only because of the quantity of items produced, but also for the way they are produced. Luxury products are defined by the quality of the materials used as well as the best working conditions in factories. While the quality of luxury products is still widely recognized, the sector had started down a  road that was not headed in the right direction: towards overabundant supply. This was a mistake, and the global pandemic we are experiencing has confronted the biggest luxury brands head-on with the error of their ways. Things have already started to change. Brands like Saint Laurent and Giorgio Armani are now changing course by deciding to reduce the number of collections per year, which will not only put the brakes on the "more is more" mentality, but also reduce waste and lead to greater sustainability. The good intentions are there. It is up to us to lead the way.

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