The Necessity Of Luxury

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What luxury means to one may differ from person to person. The concept of luxury is relative and means something different to everyone. For examples, water is a very basic commodity for us in the west, but in third world countries it is considered a luxury to drink it, let alone take a warm bath in water (Starkey, 2012). Other daily products we consider as normal might not be normal for other parts in the world.

While a student might find a Volkswagen a luxury car, an Audi Q7 might just be an ordinary wagon to a wealthy person. This example again shows that luxury is a relative term that can refer to almost anything or nothing. It all depends on the person asked. Luxury has become an expanding label for almost anything. (Anchor and Berry,1996;
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So if we do not ’’need’’ it, why do we want it?

Luxury is more than necessary and not available to everyone, but only available to a few (Bearden and Etzel, 1982). The difference between necessity and luxury is how available or exclusive something is. Bearden and Etzel saw the necessity-luxury dimension on a scale, ranging from absolutely necessary to absolutely luxurious. They measured luxury with the help from a six-point scale they developed ranging from accessible to everyone to a luxury for everyone (figure 1) (Bearden and Etzel, 1982).

There are many different arguments about fur. The fur use in the industry is an on-going debate with many people being for or against it. For many years PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has tried to persuade the public that fur is murder. In the 80’s this took a dramatic turn when people on the streets who wore fur were sprayed with red paint and many fur farms were vandalized and attacked. This caused many fur retailers to go out of business in the 1990’s. After that PETA continued their mission to ban fur from the fashion industry with dramatic ads such as the infamous ‘’I’d rather go naked than wear fur’’ campaign with supermodels such as Naomi Campbell. In the 1990’s, these ads seem to have had an impact on the use of fur in the fashion industry, since several fur retailers got out of business. However, these results did not last long.
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In an interview he stated that for him the problem with fur is, that as long as people eat meat and wear leather, he does not get the message. A butcher shop, he says, is worse. Karl also said that it is very easy to say no fur but it is an industry. Who will pay for all the unemployment if you suppress the industry of fur? According to him, the hunters in the north whom hunt sable for example, they have no other job, there is nothing else to do (Schneier, 2015).

The lyrics from Kanye West’s rap ‘’Cold’’: "Can a real n**** get money anymore? Tell PETA my mink is dragging on the floor" also shows a certain attitude that many celebrities have towards fur today (Euse, 2015; West, 2012).

According to Ms. Nieto from Positive Luxury, fur is still seen as a status symbol in the Middle East, Europe and the USA. She believes that fur is not going anywhere, but that companies need to show transparency and demonstrate that the fur farming and the killing of the animals is done in a humane and ethical way (Parisi, 2017). Thus, even in the luxury industry, sustainability will play a huge role. She may be right about fur still being relevant and seen as a status symbol; since in late 2016, fur was featured on the catwalk in more than 2/3 of all the collections (figure 1). Firuge 3: Fur in fashion week collections 2016 (fureurope.com,

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