The changing face of responsible consumption



So-called "eco-friendly" products are proliferating on store shelves, a trend that is having an impact on our consumption habits and our lifestyles.

This work has led to collaboration with Aboriginal communities to develop ecotourism handicrafts.

Anne Marchand, a design researcher at Université de Montréal, examined consumers' expectations and perceptions with regard to eco-products. She conducted a study involving 27 consumers whose level of commitment to sustainable consumption was ranked as "low to medium" or "medium to strong". 

The results of the study established differences between the two groups of participants, and highlighted the emergence of a new relationship to consumption among people who are strongly committed to sustainable consumption.

People who are moderately committed to sustainable consumption do not buy less, but tend to focus on new products that they consider more eco-friendly because they are presented as "green" or have some type of certification. They are motivated by a desire to protect the environment by purchasing a product they consider less harmful.

For their part, people with a strong commitment to sustainable consumption see it more as a question of changing the scale and style of consumption. They opt for second-hand and handmade products and, above all, they tend to reduce their consumption, not only to protect the environment, but also to achieve a simpler, healthier lifestyle.

This work has led to collaboration with Aboriginal communities to develop ecotourism handicrafts—such as cushion covers and notebooks—aimed at this new market of responsible consumers.