Luxury Ethical Consumers: Who Are They?

Joëlle Vanhamme, Adam Lindgreen*, Gülen Sarial Abi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Building on a model of the biological, socio-psychological, and structural drivers of luxury consumption, this article explores when and why luxury consumers consider ethics in their luxury consumption practices, to identify differences in their ethical and ethical luxury consumption. The variables proposed to explain these differences derive from biological, socio-psychological, and structural drivers, namely, consumers’ (1) age, (2) ethicality, (3) human values, (4) motivations, and (5) assumptive world. A cluster analysis of a sample of 706 U.S. adult luxury consumers reveals five segments of luxury consumers, each reflecting a specific persona, that engage in both ethical and ethical luxury consumption to varying extents. The five segments differ in the extent to which they exhibit features related to four discriminant functions (immorality, ego-orientation, and strain; altruistic-orientation; conservation, in control, and positivity; and youth and luxury savvy), which vary across the biological, socio-psychological, and structural drivers. The findings thus indicate which segments of luxury consumers are most relevant for luxury firms pursuing a long-term sustainability agenda and suggest practical actions to reach those goals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)805-838
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 9. November 2021.


  • Ethical luxury consumption
  • Luxury consumption
  • Persona

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