Product development and responsible consumption:designing alternatives for sustainable lifestyles

Marchand, Anne and Walker, Stuart (2008) Product development and responsible consumption:designing alternatives for sustainable lifestyles. Journal of Cleaner Production, 16 (11). pp. 1163-1169. ISSN 1879-1786

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This paper presents insights from a research project that examines the notion of ‘responsible consumption’, its relationship to consumer preferences and expectations, and its implications for product design and development. The paper discusses the issue of sustainable consumption in relation to product development and summarizes initial findings from a study conducted among people who consider themselves responsible consumers. Notably, four different profiles of ‘simplifiers’ are described. The study shows that people who took part in the research adopt more sustainable lifestyles not only because of an ecological consciousness, but also because of perceived personal factors or benefits. The study also reveals that participants have both a close and distant relationship to objects and that they prefer products that allow them to be engaged in the activity of “doing”. Product development strategies informed by these insights are explored. The paper suggests that product designers can support and encourage those already active or interested in orienting their consumption habits towards more sustainable solutions by envisioning appropriate ecologically and socially responsible product alternatives.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Cleaner Production
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10 Oct 2011 13:19
Last Modified:
21 Nov 2022 21:44