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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Changing towards sustainable consumption patterns: An ascetic exercise? The case of bulk consumption

Published: May 25, 2021


Elisa Monnot, CY Cergy Paris Université Laboratoire ThEMA; Fanny Reniou, IGR IAE Rennes - University of Rennes 1


Changing individuals’ consumption patterns is necessary to support the current societal and ecological transition. Bulk consumption is one of those growing consumption patterns that needs to receive further attention as it changes individuals’ habits and may involve efforts and constraints. How does this change towards sustainable consumption patterns take place over time? This research examines the conditions of this change thanks to in-depth interviews with 34 French consumers who get involved in bulk consumption. A grounded theory approach identifies a four-stage dynamic change process, in which personal capabilities play a significant role in developing and stabilizing new consumption patterns. The discussion addresses issues around: (1) change as a dynamic process, (2) the role of dynamic capabilities in this process, (3) the ascetic exercise that this change implies.