Special Issue "Sustainable Lifestyles and Consumer Behavior—Production and Consumption Systems"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Director of the Division Sustainable Production and Consumption, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, 42004 Wuppertal, Germany
2. Professor for Sustainability Research in Design, Department of Industrial Design, Folkwang University of the Arts, 45239 Essen, Germany
Interests: sustainable consumption and production; design for sustainability and circularity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Terry Irwin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Transition Design Institute, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, PA 15213, USA
Interests: transition design; Living Systems Theory; sustainable design; design theory
Dr. Lewis Akenji
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hot or Cool, Manteuffelstrasse 47, 12103 Berlin, Germany
Interests: sustainable lifestyles; consumer scapegoatism and power dynamics
Prof. Dr. Amrit Srinivasan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Centre for Design & New Media, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi (IIIT-D), Delhi 110020, India
Interests: knowledge society; design; performing arts; social diversity; culture&lifestyle

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is focused on sustainable lifestyles and consumer behavior. The COVID-19 crisis has shown us not only our social vulnerability but also the importance of our personal lifestyles for sustainability: Leisure and mobility behavior had to be massively reduced, some food and other daily consumer goods were suddenly no longer available without restriction, and personal consumption behavior shifted largely to the digital realm.

We welcome research that investigates how more resilient product and consumption systems can be planned and communicated, particularly in relation to individual lifestyles. Contributors from various fields are invited to submit their articles on the following topics: The importance of design, art and communication for transition and implementation of more sustainable resource-light production and consumption patterns in different lifestyles, real-world lab investigation of social and sociotechnical innovations for SCP, strengthening local economic cycles, the importance of public welfare orientation for more sustainable production, using the experiences from the COVID-19 crisis to make the importance of more sustainable production and consumption more visible and tangible, and the upscaling of footprint reduction potential by modeling of sustainable lifestyles and implementing international targets (e.g., 1.5 degree lifestyles, 8 ton society).

Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke
Prof. Terry Irwin
Dr. Lewis Akenji
Prof. Dr. Amrit Srinivasan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Public interest orientation
  • Social design and artistic interventions
  • COVID-19 crisis
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Sustainable production
  • Resilience
  • Social Innovation
  • Real world-lab research
  • Local economic cycles
  • Urban consumption

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
How Consumer Environmental Responsibility Affects the Purchasing Intention of Design Furniture Products
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6140; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116140 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Consumer environmental responsibility has been commonly considered as an antecedent to green consumption intention and eco-design purchases. However, little research has investigated how environmental concern affects the relationship between design attributes and purchasing intention, especially in the furniture setting, where companies are often [...] Read more.
Consumer environmental responsibility has been commonly considered as an antecedent to green consumption intention and eco-design purchases. However, little research has investigated how environmental concern affects the relationship between design attributes and purchasing intention, especially in the furniture setting, where companies are often involved in design-intensive processes and environmental problems. This study investigates (i) how consumers perceive the different dimensions of design and which attributes most affect their purchasing intention of furniture items; and (ii) the role of consumers’ environmental responsibility on the relationship between design attributes and purchasing intention. An online questionnaire survey was employed to collect data from 350 Italian consumers. The findings reveal that design can be intended as a three-dimensional construct, based on functional, aesthetic, and symbolic attributes. While functional and aesthetic features can be considered as relevant factors affecting the consumers’ perception of design, the purchasing intention is mainly influenced by the symbolic dimension of design. Moreover, environmental concern moderates the relationship between the symbolic dimension of design and purchasing intention, that is, when consumers are highly concerned about environmental issues, they tend to be more influenced by the symbolic dimension of design. Several theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Full article
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Article
Managing Sustainable Transitions: Institutional Innovations from India
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6076; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116076 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 982
Abstract
Despite the widespread disruptions of lives and livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it could also be seen as a gamechanger. The post-pandemic recovery should address fundamental questions concerning our food systems. Is it possible to reset existing ecologically unsustainable production systems towards [...] Read more.
Despite the widespread disruptions of lives and livelihoods due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it could also be seen as a gamechanger. The post-pandemic recovery should address fundamental questions concerning our food systems. Is it possible to reset existing ecologically unsustainable production systems towards healthier and more connected systems of conscious consumers and ecologically oriented farmers? Based on three illustrative cases from different parts of India, we show how managing transitions towards sustainability require institutional innovations and new intermediaries that build agency, change relations, and transform structures in food systems. Lessons from three diverse geographies and commodities in India are presented: urban farming initiatives in Mumbai, conscious consumer initiatives in semi-urban Gujarat for pesticide-free mangoes, and resource-poor arid regions of Andhra Pradesh. Through these examples, we show that, beyond the technological solutions, institutional innovations such as urban community-supported farming models, Participatory Guarantee Schemes, and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) can enable sustainable transitions. Sustainable lifestyles in a post COVID-19 world, as the cases show, require collective experimentation with producers that go beyond changed consumer behaviour to transform structures in food systems. Full article
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Article
Microalgae as Future Superfoods: Fostering Adoption through Practice-Based Design Research
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2848; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052848 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1018
Abstract
Consumers’ eating habits are gradually changing. In the next few decades, this shift will not be solely dictated by individuals’ decisions but by the need to feed an ever-increasing population in the face of global resources’ impoverishment. Novel superfoods rich in nutrients and [...] Read more.
Consumers’ eating habits are gradually changing. In the next few decades, this shift will not be solely dictated by individuals’ decisions but by the need to feed an ever-increasing population in the face of global resources’ impoverishment. Novel superfoods rich in nutrients and produced with sustainable methods, including microalgae, maybe a solution. However, their unusual aspect, the palatability, and the lack of knowledge by most people could be obstacles to adoption. This study aims at encouraging the use of microalgae as food, highlighting the importance that design plays in the transition towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns. Through practice-based design research, characterized by empirical experiments, a survey, an engaging workshop, and the development of a fully-functional open-source product, the authors conceptualize a theoretical framework within which similar product-service systems could thrive. This real-world experimentation is of interest for academics, professionals, makers in the field of design, etc. It suggests that multidisciplinarity, education, and replicability are the keys to addressing this topic and paves the way for further technical and humanistic research. Full article
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