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Luxury industry adapts to new trends

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As part of its plan to ride out the weak economy and build credibility with customers, the luxury industry aims to inject philanthropy and social responsibility into its core business strategy.

Noting that discredited Wall Street CEOs are trying to clear their names and get involved in philanthropy, the luxury industry says it plans to market itself as a socially-responsible way to spend money.

Wealthy consumers have increased their preference for socially-responsible brands to 57 percent last year from 51 percent in 2006, say surveys conducted by the Luxury Institute.

Increasingly, consumers are demanding not only high-quality products, but socially and environmentally sustainable practices, the group says.

Other strategies the luxury industry plans to use to help bolster itself include investing in the Internet and mobile technology, appealing to more pragmatic consumers and improving craftsmanship and quality.

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