Luxury brands and their role in eco-innovation diffusion

Snare, Eleanor ORCID logoORCID: and Sumner, Mark ORCID logoORCID: (2016) Luxury brands and their role in eco-innovation diffusion. In: Global Fashion Conference 2016 Conference Proceedings. Global Fashion Conference. ISBN 978-989-20-7053-7


Purpose: The purpose of this research is to understand the role of luxury brands in the diffusion of eco-innovations through the fashion industry, and whether the trickle-down theory applies. Methodology: Structured qualitative interviews were carried out with 13 individuals working in luxury, mass and value market fashion brands to understand the perceptions of how innovation and eco-innovation were generated and diffused through the fashion industry. Rogers’ theory of innovation diffusion was used to analyse and explore interview responses. Findings: The results of the research suggest the interviewees perceived the trickle-down effect as less relevant for eco-innovations than for aesthetic innovations (newness in style, design or colour). It was found that suppliers, competitors and senior management play a more important role in diffusion of eco-innovation. A five point model for successful eco-innovation diffusion within a fashion business was established from the research. Limitations: As the first stage of a larger project, this research focused on one interviewee from the product design and development team within each brand. Further research will be carried out to explore the perceptions of eco-innovations for other functions within the brands. Implications: Fashion brands wishing to adopt eco-innovations can use the five point model to help them establish the right conditions for successful adoption within their business. Originality/value: This research extends existing work on the adoption of sustainability within the fashion industry by exploring the adoption routes for eco-innovation and using Rogers’ framework to create a five point model for innovation.

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