Dr. Nabanita Talukdar Involves Students in Sustainable-Fashion Research

AGAATI offers sustainable, luxury womenswear and is committed to various sustainable initiatives such as designing collections made only from natural fibers, following a zero-waste philosophy, and supporting fair trade. A Silicon Valley start-up, AGAATI has also made a commitment to contribute a portion of their profits to non-profit organizations addressing the impact of “fast fashion.” As the company is one the few luxury fashion companies focused on sustainability, AGAATI sponsored research at GGU to understand motives behind purchasing decisions in this category.

The qualitative and quantitative studies were spearheaded by Dr. Nabanita Talukdar, whose research primarily focuses on materialism and other consumption motives associated with luxury brands.  The project had three parts:

  • A focus group of nine female participants drawn from a pool of GGU alumni, employees, and students–many of whom showed an interest in sustainable luxury brands
  • A pilot survey, based on focus group results, that was sent to 247 female subjects in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago
  • A luxury brand experiment using 56 GGU students to establish the causality among the variables driving the purchase of sustainable luxury brands

“At GGU we are committed to bringing real-world knowledge to the classroom. By participating in the focus group and the experiment, students learned about how such methodological approaches can be applied to business research.”

—Dr. Nabanita Talukdar

In this third project, Dr. Talukdar was assisted by doctoral student Michael Lin from GGU’s DBA program. Lin’s research focuses on exploring the economic trends in the emerging industries of eSports, virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence.

“I would like to thank AGAATI as well as the university students, faculty, and staff for their support,” says Talukdar. “My students found this experience enjoyable and educational. At GGU we are committed to bringing real-world knowledge to the classroom. By participating in the focus group and the experiment, students learned about how such methodological approaches can be applied to business research. I am grateful to AGAATI for giving GGU the opportunity to work with them, and we look forward to continuing to serve the Bay Area business community with our research expertise and resources.”

The students also got an opportunity to participate in a workshop on SPSS – a widely used tool in business to analyze research findings – and experimental design. This gave the students an opportunity to understand experimental methodology from Dr. Shubin (Lance) Yu, Postdoctoral researcher, Peking University, China.

Watch the video to learn more about the research project.

Anand Pradhan,  Co-founder of AGAATI, says: “We are excited about the research partnership with GGU  on understanding and driving sustainability into the luxury fashion market.  We thank the professors and students for the strong research support. We are confident that the research results which we obtained through GGU will further help us in successfully continuing our mission to design the most fashionable clothes in the sustainable category. AGAATI’s collections are already generating buzz because of the significant interest from media and customers.” You can keep up with AGAATI’s Instagram account via Yooying.

About Nabanita Talukdar

Nabanita Talukdar holds a DBA in Marketing (’16) and an MS in Finance (’09) from Golden Gate University. She also holds an MBA in Marketing and a BS in Geology, Physics & Math from universities in India. Her research interests include luxury brands and digital marketing, social media analytics and luxury marketing, and the use of marketing science in luxury marketing. She has presented her research in both domestic and international conferences.  Outside of academia, she has worked in industry — conducting quantitative and qualitative analyses for L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, First Republic Bank, and Actelion Pharmaceuticals. She is involved with social causes dedicated to providing educational opportunities to underprivileged populations.

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