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Beyond Abundance: Self-Interest Motives for Sustainable Consumption in Relation to Product Perception and Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Anne Marchand

    () (School of Industrial Design, University of Montreal, P.O. Box 6128, Downtown Branch, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3J7, Canada)

  • Stuart Walker

    () (Imagination Lancaster, The Round House, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YD, UK)

  • Tim Cooper

    () (School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU, UK)

Abstract

This paper presents results of a study that examined the perceptions and preferences of identified “responsible, sustainable consumers” with respect to functional products. The study is part of a larger research program that looks at material cultures and product design in relation to sustainable production and consumption. Based on empirical data gathered from among citizens attempting to follow sustainable lifestyles, the authors reflect on how the adoption of sustainable consumption patterns can not only be motivated by altruistic and environmental considerations, but also, significantly, by perceived personal benefits, including an expected increase in personal well-being. These motivations, together with how they unfold into preferences for particular product characteristics, are discussed. The paper concludes that the understanding of such motives, along with their implications for the ways in which products and services are conceived and positioned, may warrant further research as it can represent a key incentive for change towards a more sustainable future.

Suggested Citation

  • Anne Marchand & Stuart Walker & Tim Cooper, 2010. "Beyond Abundance: Self-Interest Motives for Sustainable Consumption in Relation to Product Perception and Preferences," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(5), pages 1-17, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:5:p:1431-1447:d:8433
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Doris Fuchs & Sylvia Lorek, 2005. "Sustainable Consumption Governance: A History of Promises and Failures," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 261-288, September.
    2. Thomas Princen, 2003. "Principles for Sustainability: From Cooperation and Efficiency to Sufficiency," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 33-50, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:865-:d:136935 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Syndhia Mathé & Hélène Rey-Valette, 2015. "Local Knowledge of Pond Fish-Farming Ecosystem Services: Management Implications of Stakeholders’ Perceptions in Three Different Contexts (Brazil, France and Indonesia)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-23, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainable consumption; product preferences; motivations; environment; self-interest; good life;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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