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Free Content The Sustainable Luxury Contradiction: Evidence from a Consumer Study of Marine-cultured Pearl Jewellery

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Sustainable product literature has highlighted potential contradictions between luxury goods, known for their extravagance, and sustainability, known for its respect for the environment and society. Other research contends that luxury goods, when based on high quality and craftsmanship, can provide a solid basis for environmentally responsible messaging. Our research empirically tests facets of sustainable luxury within the pearl jewellery sector. We compared a range of environmental and non-environmental frames to gain an understanding of consumer value perceptions. Our results show that environmental frames do not diminish components of luxury such as value, quality and uniqueness. In addition, one of the environmental messages demonstrated statistically significantly higher claimed word-of-mouth communications compared to the non-environmental messages. Our research indicates that properly framed environmental messages may not diminish, and can enhance consumer perceptions of luxury value. In particular, evidence from this research suggests that sustainability messages that describe a direct link between production and positive environmental outcomes may create brand value within the luxury segment.
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Keywords: Certification; Consumer preference; Environmental communication; Sustainable development; Sustainable luxury

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2016

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  • The Journal of Corporate Citizenship focuses explicitly on integrating theory about corporate citizenship with management practice. This means that the journal provides a forum in which the tensions and practical realities of making corporate citizenship real are addressed in a reader-friendly, yet conceptually and empirically rigorous format. The Journal of Corporate Citizenship aims to publish the best ideas integrating the theory and practice of corporate citizenship in a format that is readable, accessible, engaging, interesting and useful for readers in business, consultancy, government, NGOs and academia. This peer-reviewed journal encourages practical, theoretically sound, and (when relevant) empirically rigorous manuscripts that address real-world implications of corporate citizenship in global and local contexts.
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