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Sustainability impacts Asian luxury consumers
Rising environmental awareness, particularly among Gen Z, influences brand loyalty
The Asset 30 Nov 2023

Environmental awareness is on the rise in the Asia-Pacific region and increasingly impacting how consumers shop for luxury goods, according to a recent report.

Sustainability commitments have a tremendous impact on brand loyalty, reveals the Navigating a Greener Future report published by packaging specialist Delta Global. The majority of interviewees surveyed for the report say they will stop buying or buy less from a brand that does not care about its environmental impact.

Trends like shifting purchases to more sustainable brands and buying or selling pre-loved luxury goods are growing across Asia-Pacific, especially among Gen Z consumers, notes the report, which was conducted in August 2023. It surveyed over 2,000 luxury consumers from Gen Z to Gen X (ages 18–55) across Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and mainland China.

A key finding of the study is the heightened environmental awareness among luxury consumers, with more than 90% of respondents claiming to be more environmentally conscious than they were two years ago.

About 42% claimed to be “a lot more aware” compared to previous years when around one-half of Gen Z consumers and Australian consumers took this stance. This was followed by Southeast Asia (44%) and mainland China (41%). Hong Kong consumers (25%) showed the least gain in environmental awareness compared with other markets.

With the increase in environmental awareness, it is not surprising that most Asia-Pacific luxury consumers say they will reduce their support of luxury brands that ignore their impact on the environment, the report notes.

Of those surveyed across Asia-Pacific, 92% say they will stop buying, buy less or reconsider buying from brands that do not care about sustainability, and 27% say they will stop buying from these brands altogether. While still buying less, fewer Hong Kong consumers relative to the other markets would cease purchasing (14%).

In general, Asia-Pacific luxury consumers look favourably on brands that prioritize environmental sustainability, with more than two-thirds saying they will buy more from these brands, the report finds. This number was the highest amongst Gen Z customers, of whom three-quarters say they will increase the amount they purchase to show their support.

On average, Asia-Pacific customers will pay up to 21% more for brands prioritizing environmental sustainability, the report finds, with Gen Z customers saying they will pay a premium of up to 28%.

“There is a perception that the luxury consumer in Asia-Pacific is less knowledgeable and less concerned about environmental and sustainability issues compared with their European and US counterparts, but environmental awareness is accelerating among luxury consumers in the region” says Robert Lockyer, Delta Global’s founder and chief client officer. “This is especially true for China where the government has been implementing specific environmental protection policies over the last 10 years.”

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