Whenever you purchase a five dollar cup of single-origin, fair-trade and organic coffee or a sustainably sourced and locally produced tunic, you’re getting a well-engineered, delicious and attractive item. Of course, consumers vie for premium materials and ingredients, as well as, good craftsmanship and design. It’s typically the understated conveyance of wealth, good taste, access and even high status. Consumers want products that are “ethical”, “sustainable” and “organic”, to name a few.

The Shopping Priorities

Fortunately, the luxury industry has finally woken up to this fact and they responded by offering heaps of services and products for consumers who sociologist Elizabeth Currid-Halkett refer to as “aspirational class.” These individuals solemnly purchase organic products, breast-feed their babies and bring NPR tote bags.

They care more about inconspicuous and discreet consumption. They would rather listen to a podcast, wear TOMS shoes or organic cotton shirts, and eat heirloom tomatoes or free-range chicken. They utilize their purchasing power to practice Pilates or yoga, nurture their kids’ growth or hire housekeepers and nannies.

A New Taste in Luxury

A growing priority for these consumers is sustainability. Businesses need to learn to cater to their needs, especially since the younger generations grew up in an “aspirational” lifestyle. Based on partner and luxury analyst at Bain & Company named Claudia D’Arpizio, Gen Z and Millennials already make up 30 percent of luxury shoppers. They predict that this could reach a whopping 45 percent by 2025.

These shoppers seek for sustainability when, where or what they’re spending their finances on, so they search for symptoms of environmental and social awareness from businesses that they support. They basically hope to vote with their wallet to create actual change in their surroundings. Making eco-friendly choices in their purchases might not make much difference in the environmental footprint, but they know that spreading awareness itself would eventually help.

Suffice to say, a future with these luxury shoppers is a future filled with individuals slurping expensive organic smoothies in their yoga pants, while donning a sustainably-produced, gorgeous jacket.

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