SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMW226502
Module Leader Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas
School GCU London
Subject GCU London
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

Sustainable luxury is about the power to change lives through sustainability leadership. This module requires students to engage in informed analysis of the social, environmental and financial impacts of the operations of luxury industry players, to develop a critical understanding of key sector sustainability challenges and to identify best practice and sustainable leadership. Designed to give an overview of the current and future landscape for the luxury sector with regards to sustainability, the module focuses on the changing context of luxury business, introducing relevant local and global policy and practices. The expansion of the luxury sector combined with an increased awareness of the associated social and environmental externalities of conducting international business require innovative approaches to ameliorate challenges and pursue opportunities for sustainable luxury. This module uses the framework of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and concepts including circular economy and social enterprise along with contemporary luxury industry case studies, to examine the role of luxury in leading sustainable development. The module adopts an interdisciplinary approach to analyse social and environmental challenges and the innovations in luxury business which seek to go beyond minimising harm, and actively pursue positive impact through the application of social justice and sustainable development strategies for local and global communities and businesses. Students will be given a broad and detailed knowledge of the latest theory and practice and will have the opportunity to pursue study across areas of luxury business and sustainable development that align with their personal and professional values and aspirations. The module will also provide students with specific knowledge of sustainable development and responsible innovation integral to the luxury brand promise, along with the conceptual and analytical frameworks that will support their learning in subsequent stages of the programme.


-360b7 Concepts of sustainability and responsible management b7 Local and global sustainability activism, voluntary and legal frameworks b7 Sustainable and socially responsible luxury approaches and practice b7 Sustainable leadership b7 CSR b7 Innovative business strategies b7 Circular economy b7 Sustainable Development Goals b7 Social and environmental impact of luxury b7 Sustainable finance and ROSI

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the concepts of sustainability and responsible business.2. Evaluate the social and environmental drivers for change that impact the contemporary and future global luxury sector.3. Apply concepts of sustainable luxury and responsible business to problem solving practical scenarios in a contemporary luxury industry context. 4. Identify and critically evaluate examples of sustainable leadership in the global luxury sector.5. Demonstrate mastery of sustainability literacies through personal reflection.6. Communicate complex solutions in innovative and impactful ways.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy is informed by the Principles of Responsible Management in order to develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy. Academic activities are both conceptual and empirical as well as being collaborative and values-based. Students will work in groups and independently developing sustainability literacies through a blend of lectures, seminars, workshops, and formative assessments where activities, including role plays, debates and short presentations are supported by students' self-directed preparation and learning. Lectures are used to introduce students to concepts, theories, frameworks and industry analysis which are then applied through seminars and workshops. Scenario case-studies, industry publications and academic papers are used as resources from which seminar and workshop tasks are developed and used to promote discussion and an exchange of ideas and views. Teaching materials for lectures are made available to students electronically, via GCU Learn. This module incorporates an interdisciplinary approach designed to support transformational learning and is supported by engagement with specialist industry speakers to complement and enhance students' understanding across a range of topics. Skills are developed in a number of ways, including student-led seminar discussions, role plays, debates and regular in-class presentations. Specialist websites support students with information and resources to supplement in-class materials. Assessment across the module is both formative and summative. Incremental learning is consolidated through summative assessments that comprise a group presentation with supporting visual and written work and an individual project.

Indicative Reading

Amatulli, C. et al. Sustainable Luxury Brands Evidence from Research and Implications for Managers . 1st ed. 2017. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2017. Web. Elkington, J., Zeitz, J. and Branson, R. (2014), The breakthrough challenge: 10 ways to connect today's profits with tomorrow's bottom line. 7 th edn. Jossey-Bass. Fletcher, K., and Tham, M. (2014), Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion, Routledge Gardetti, M. A., and Muthu, S. (Eds.). (2018) Sustainable Luxury, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. Singapore: Springer Singapore. Lehmacher, W., (2017) The Global Supply Chain How Technology and Circular Thinking Transform Our Future . Cham: Springer International Publishing. Ramiah, V., and Gregoriou, G. N. (2016), Handbook of Environmental and Sustainable Finance . Amsterdam: Academic Press Varley, R., Roncha, A., Radclyffe-Thomas, N. & Gee, E. (2019), Fashion management: A strategic approach. London: Red Globe Press. Journals Journal of Business Research Journal of Marketing Business Horizons European Journal of Marketing Harvard Business Review International Journal of Management & Marketing Research International Journal of Market Research International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management Journal of Brand Management Journal of Business Research Journal of Consumer Behaviour Journal of Consumer Psychology Journal of Consumer Research Journal of Fashion Marketing & Management Journal of Marketing Communications Journal of Marketing Management Journal of Product & Brand Management Journal of Strategic Marketing Sustainability Websites Common Objective Ellen MacArthur Foundation Fashion Revolution Labour Behind the Label Mintel Positive Luxury Redress UN SDGs WSGN

Transferrable Skills

Creative problem-solving Scenario planning Critical thinking Responding to tasks within limited time frames Professional level presentation and communication Apply ethical considerations to industry scenarios Managing own workload and achieving deadlines Working within teams Research, evaluate and apply information, knowledge and theory to real world problems Visual, oral and written communication

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Tutorials (FT) 2.00
Independent Learning (FT) 72.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 45% Group presentation and written support online
Course Work 02 n/a 50.00 45% Individual video and written submission online