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