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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

The role of multiple self-identities in behaviours across the consumption cycle in food and apparel

Published: May 27, 2020


Catalin Stancu, Aarhus University, Aarhus BSS, Department of Management, MAPP Research Center; Alice Grønhøj, Aarhus University; Liisa Lähteenmäki, Aarhus University, Denmark


sustainability; self-identity; self-determined motivation


The negative consequences of consumerism receive increasing attention. Consumer behaviours in food and apparel are frequent, and have the potential to decrease the pressure put on the planet. Thus, a switch towards sustainable behaviours is mandatory. As consumers can have several self-identities and motivations, it is important to study their effect on sustainable behaviours. An online survey among respondents in Denmark was used to measure consumers’ identities (sustainable, trend follower, shopper, thrifty), self-determined motivation and sustainable behaviours across the consumption cycle in food and apparel. Sustainable self-identity had the strongest positive association with sustainable food and apparel behaviours. On the other hand, the trend follower identity was linked negatively with sustainable behaviours in apparel, whereas shopper identity had both positive and negative relations to behaviours in food and apparel. This outlines potential clashes of self-identities.