Path to sustainable luxury brand consumption: face consciousness, materialism, pride and risk of embarrassment

Tahir Islam, Ying Wang, Ahsan Ali, Naeem Akhtar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aims to examine the roles of face consciousness, materialism and emotions play in sustainable luxury brand consumption (SLBC) among Millennials in a Collective society. 

Design/methodology/approach: Three experimental design studies using scenario-based methodologies along with the survey method were conducted in China to test the proposed research model. 

Findings: Study 1 shows that face consciousness negatively and significantly affects SLBC, and this effect is mediated by materialism. Study 2 reveals that when Millennials experienced great authentic pride, there is a positive association between face consciousness and SLBC. Furthermore, Study 3 reveals that when Millennials are exposed to a high risk of embarrassment, materialists’ willingness to engage in SLBC increases. 

Research limitations/implications: The current research has significant theoretical implications for studying SLBC, especially among young consumers. This study contributes to a better understanding of the relationships among face consciousness, materialism, pride, risk of embarrassment and SLBC in a Collective culture context, where luxury consumption is valued. 

Originality/value: Sustainable luxury consumption is a new and under-examined research area. This research extends the SLBC literature in the context of a collective society and provides empirical evidence for sustainable consumption and luxury consumption in general. The research also contributes to the literature by examining the moderating role of self-conscious emotion in the relationship between face consciousness and SLBC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-28
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Issue number1
Early online date18 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Face consciousness
  • Materialism
  • Pride
  • Risk of embarrassment
  • Sustainable luxury Brand consumption


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