Findings from the 2022 edition of the Julius Baer Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report reveal that, in recent years, the consumption habits of the wealthy have changed far less than that of their counterparts in other demographics. That being said, several significant changes are likely in store, as everything from climate change to new technology promise to shake up our lifestyles at both the individual and global level. Anticipated trends to watch include:
UHNWIs are well aware of the impact their luxurious lifestyles can have on the environment. While many have long been content to throw money at the issue without adjusting their own habits, this is beginning to change. Hence, the rapid rise of sustainable luxury fashion, in which high-net-worth consumers eschew seasonal trends in favor of longer-term, tasteful outfits they can wear year after year. This apparel is constructed from eco-friendly materials and is produced ethically.
The concept of a minimalist wardrobe is far from new, of course, but it has taken on a greater level of prestige. Mark Zuckerberg set the tone with his iconic hoodie, but he's far from the only UHNWI willing to diverge from the long-held perception of how successful people should dress.
The rise of sustainable luxury is also evident in the travel sector, as UHNWIs have discovered that they can minimize their carbon footprint as they continue to travel the world. High-end eco-resorts bring luxury travelers to the most exclusive, intriguing destinations while appeasing their worries about travel's influence on Mother Nature.
Luxury resorts such as Patina Maldives appeal to the
socially and environmentally conscious traveler by building green practices into the very fabric of the tourist experience. This effort incorporates prefabricated, eco-friendly materials, construction purposefully away from reefs, and relocating trees rather than simply cutting them down.
It's also important to acknowledge the growing prevalence of sophisticated hybrids and EVs, which have largely replaced the gas-guzzling luxury vehicles of yesteryear. These days, the hottest rides minimize fuel consumption without skimping on other automotive markers of luxury. Tesla comes to mind, of course, but Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW all provide compelling options for the modern eco-conscious, luxury-minded driver.
No discussion of UHNWIs' evolving lifestyle would be complete without a close examination of tech. We're not just talking about the most exclusive mobile devices and wearables, although these are certainly a core part of UHNWIs' day-to-day lives. Beyond this, however, high-net consumers are able to integrate Web3 and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions into their homes, their leisure activities, and their fashion choices.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) provide one of the most compelling opportunities for UNHWIs to chase their desire for exclusivity. These are a big deal across numerous areas of the luxury industry. Jimmy Choo, Bulgari, and Prada are embracing this opportunity with headline-hitting NFT drops.
Blockchain is also a big deal, producing exciting opportunities not only in fashion, but also, in luxury travel and even in the automotive sector. Porsche, for example, is now testing blockchain solutions, while BMW has used this approach extensively to verify its cobalt supplies.