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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Luxury and transgression: the paradox of recycled product innovations. From the consumer’s point of view to the brand’s one.

Published: May 25, 2021


Thérèse FOURNAISE, Aix Marseille Univ, Université de Toulon, CERGAM, Aix-en-Provence, France; Aurélie KESSOUS, Aix Marseille Univ, Université de Toulon, CERGAM, Aix-en-Provence, France; Pierre VALETTE-FLORENCE, Grenoble Univ, CERAG, IAE, Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France


Luxury is always more transgressive. This trend even affects brand initiatives in sustainable development. The aim of this research is to examine both consumer and expert perceptions in the specific context of transgression linked to product innovations made from recycled materials. Two qualitative studies conducted among twenty-five luxury consumers and twenty-one luxury brand experts unexpectedly highlight the transgressive nature of this type of innovation. For consumers, it is the visual identification (or not) of the sustainable attribute that determines the rejection (or acceptance) of the product. Indeed, if the sustainable attribute is not visible, the innovation is perceived as a positive transgression that conveys values. However, if it is visible, the innovation is considered as a negative transgression harmful to the brand-consumer relationship. Finally, for experts, a sustainable product only makes sense if it is part of the brand’s DNA and a global sustainable commitment.