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News Article

“Ethics over Aesthetics”: Luxury Industry will Reinvent Itself

By Daniel González | Fri, 05/22/2020 - 13:36

In 2017, Mexico surpassed Brazil and become the largest luxury market in Latin America with sales toppling US$7 billion. A growing middle class, a significant increase in the population’s purchasing power and sustained economic growth since the beginning of the 21st century allowed the country to reach the number one spot. In addition, according to Euromonitor International, Mexico followed the global trend that the luxury industry has followed since the beginning of the decade: responsible consumption. According to Deloitte, In 2018 the 100 largest companies in the sector earned US$300 billion in sales. The trend for 2020 is expected to be a  negative growth, but many associations of manufacturers and producers, as well as consulting firms and think tanks are trying to project what will happen in the global luxury sector once the world returns to the ‘new normal’. The conclusion is clear: according to the Spanish Luxury Association, “ethics over aesthetics” will be the main trend in a post-COVID-19 world.

“Ethical lifestyle is gaining strength in Mexico and the world. Many luxury companies have affiliated themselves with charities as part of their marketing strategy. In the beauty market, the concept of ‘green beauty’ has become popular and a decisive factor in the purchase decision,” said Flur Roberts, head of Luxury Industry Research at Euromonitor International during a LuxuryLab held in Mexico City.

Euromonitor International has  joined the Spanish Luxury Association, which bring together hotel chains, beauty brands, fashion brands, restaurants, wine cellars and gourmet food producers, among others. “Many consumers in the luxury industry are evaluating their lifestyle and rethinking what things are really important. Consumers will prioritize brands that offer less superficial aspects,” said Cristina Martín, President of the association. In the rest of the world, designers, brands and influencers such as H&M, Stella McCartney and Emma Watson have adapted this trend, who are proselytizing ethical fashion through their collections and social networks.

In Mexico, considered the most important luxury market in Latin America, this trend has been a reality for a decade. The emergence of small producers and independent brands that base their production on sustainable and ecological textile fibers or support indigenous communities has marked the development of the fashion industry in the country. The trend has also moved education centers, from where most of the industry’s labor force comes from. We must also add the change in tastes led by the millennial generation, completely different from those of their predecessors. According to the Spanish Luxury Association, 80 percent of millennials believe that the success of a brand should not be measured by its economic income, but by its impact on the society in which it operates.

Fashion Revolution, an association that was born after the collapse of an illegal textile factory in Bangladesh, has set out to hold events in more than 30 cities around the world to raise awareness in the need to change the way we make and consume clothes. Ethics over aesthetics was a trend a few years ago, tCOVID-19, as with so many other things, has made it a reality.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Forbes, El Financiero, EFE,, Euromonitor International, Deloitte, El País
Photo by:   Unsplash
Daniel González Daniel González Senior Writer