Traditionally, luxury is an object, service or experience conducive to physical and/or emotional pleasure; not a necessity. On the other hand, we may feel an object is luxurious if it’s exclusive— obtainable only by a few, usually the affluent elite.
Sort of yes and sort of yes.
To us, luxury is a product that is exclusive not because of the price tag, but because it is unique and handmade with high-quality materials. Of course, the price of an ethically produced item will always be higher than a massively produced one.
A recent survey showed that 50% of global consumers are willing to pay more for socially responsible products. The affluent-class wouldn't have too much to think about. The middle-class, on the other hand, would have much to consider.
Most middle-class people whom I have talked to, always insist: “I don’t have money for that”, statement to which I answer: “but, you're always shopping” and most, defensively answer: “yes, but I shop for cheap stuff”.
Because of industrialization and globalization, the middle-class is now used to more for less; and this has brought about a defensive feeling towards products that are even slightly more expensive than what they have been used to. These two changes made fast fashion possible and consequently created an obsessive culture of consumerism— where shopping is now a leisure activity and having excessive amounts of clothes is a sign of great financial status.
Why would someone buy a handmade bag for $200 when they can buy four for the same amount— and show off their massive closet— and go to work everyday wearing something different? "No brainer", someone ignorant to the effects of fast fashion would say.
People, I want to believe we are better than that.
To the affluent: there’s no excuse. None. If you think of one, please let me know. Bring it on!
To the middle-class: shop smarter, you don’t need 10 bags and 60 pairs of shoes. YOU DON’T! Who are you really trying to impress? Further, if someone is positively impressed by the amount of stuff someone possesses, they are not worth a minute of your time (unless you'd like to take on the challenge of positively influencing them*). Educate yourself both intellectually and spiritually and I promise, you will be able to afford anything you want; even though by then, you won’t want to.
Live a smart, luxurious lifestyle with less things and more experiences. There's no excuse.