Reshaping affordable luxury fashion : the green shift : how does the type of sustainability attribute impact young generations’ consumer behavior?
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- Master Thesis 
Luxury fashion consumers are increasingly becoming more environmentally concerned and consequently demand brands to meet their needs with responsible, yet luxurious products. This trend is especially evident in Millennials and Generation Z, who are steadily becoming a key consumer group for luxury brands. This thesis explores the way in which sustainable products influence these young generations' product attitude and purchase intention in an emerging segment of the luxury fashion industry, namely Affordable Luxury. Further, we aim to establish whether the type of sustainability attribute, either related to the product itself or not, cause distinctive reactions in the above mentioned parameters. Finally, the potential impact of the product's ephemeral or durable nature is to be examined. An online experiment was conducted to explore sustainable consumer behaviour in this segment. Respondents were exposed to one of six variations of an affordable luxury product, of either durable or ephemeral nature and with a product sustainability attribute that was either product-related or non-product-related or alternatively, a conventional product. Perceptions of the product's quality and social value were consequently measured, followed by an assessment of their product attitude and purchase intention. Findings indicate that young consumers have positive attitudes toward sustainable, affordable luxury products. This effect only extends to purchase intention in certain contexts. Even still, respondents perceived sustainable products to have a higher social value and product quality than conventional ones, which in turn led to more positive attitudes and higher purchase intentions. Differences between the type of sustainability attributes were established, and respondents displayed a more favourable reaction to products with product-related sustainability attributes over those that are non-product-related. The category the product belongs to does not impact the attributes' effect on perceived product quality. This thesis contributes to the field of sustainable luxury consumer behaviour by providing insights into an emerging segment and a new consumer group. Managers of affordable luxury brands should focus on introducing sustainable products with product-related sustainability attributes to reap the benefits of heightened perceptions of quality and social value, which in turn leads to more positive product attitudes and higher purchase intentions.