ethics is the new luxury

06 February 2017

u.s. culture has been thrown into a bit of a tizzy, and in the fray it’s reframing luxury. while the classical conversation on luxury has always been grounded in craftsmanship, the new conversation appears to be biasing to ethics and values.

there’s an emerging overlap where the money of older generations and the values of millennials are aligning in a way that is driving both makers and consumers to put their money where their mouth is. and in the process they are resetting what the new luxury badge purchase looks like.

gone are the days where global brands play their values cards close to their chest. as more and more ceos on the frontline of pop culture — including airbnb’s brian chesky, facebook’s mark zuckerberg, apple’s tim cook, and levi’s chip bergh — make their ethics known, they are being met by a surging consumer expectation for transparency on issues of sustainability, equality, and human rights. don’t like a brand’s values, don’t buy. don’t like a demographic’s values, don’t sell.

if the new york times is right and 2016 was “the year politics took over our closets,” 2017 may be the year it takes over our cars and travel itineraries, too.