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Consumers Practicing Sustainable Consumption: Value Construction in Second-Hand Fashion Markets

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Sustainable Consumption and Production, Volume II

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to explore consumers’ ways of creating and interpreting value of second-hand clothing. By highlighting the cultural capital aspect of sustainable consumerism, the study is able to explore consumer motivation from a perspective that is related to the ways in which sustainable consumption enables or reflects certain social structures within consumption. We argue that, while participants claim they engage within second-hand markets primarily due to environmental motivation, the practice of second-hand shopping is one that is largely driven by gaining symbolic and cultural capital. These symbolic associations demonstrate that second-hand shopping is as much about responsible consumerism as it is about engendering concepts that transcend sustainability: individuality, authenticity, and distinction. Based on these findings, the chapter concludes with a discussion on potential barriers and opportunities in transforming towards more sustainable consumption practices.

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Acknowledgements

We wish to thank our discussants at the book workshop, October 2019, at Stockholm School of Economics for their fruitful comments on our initial book draft and to the participants and discussants at the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets on an early draft discussed at a WIP seminar during the spring of 2019.

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Correspondence to Susanne Sweet .

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Han, J.YC., Sweet, S. (2021). Consumers Practicing Sustainable Consumption: Value Construction in Second-Hand Fashion Markets. In: Bali Swain, R., Sweet, S. (eds) Sustainable Consumption and Production, Volume II. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55285-5_9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55285-5_9

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