Sustainable development and the aspirational male consumer: Tengri, making the case for sustainable luxury

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Luxury is an industry that defines its value through the quality of its raw materials, which fosters creativity, elevates artisanship and relies on brand heritage and local production to underpin the provenance of its products and justify its pricing strategy and, as such, can be considered as embodying many of the practices of sustainability. Yet, despite public commitments and pledges for better business, both financial and cultural factors have contributed to a lack of progress in implementing the necessary system changes implied by slow fashion, sustainable development and the circular economy. Social enterprises use business to address social and environmental issues. In Tengri’s case, founder Nancy Johnston was inspired by her experiences travelling with Mongolia’s yak herders where she was confronted with the harshness of the nomadic way of life and threats to its continuing existence. She was driven to action when she juxtaposed these conditions with the promoted glamour of the luxury fashion industry, which relies on supplies of ingredients from just such workers. This article explores how Tengri combines social and environmental awareness with luxury product development incorporating the UN SDGs into a sustainable luxury menswear brand in a virtuous cycle of ethical fashion consumption and production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-266
Number of pages22
JournalCritical Studies in Men's Fashion
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021


  • fashion
  • innovation
  • luxury
  • social enterprise
  • sustainability
  • sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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