Study of Consumers' Expectations and Perceptions with Regard to Eco-products in Relation to Their Commitment to Sustainable Consumption

By Anne Marchand, Claudia Déméné and Mario Patenaude.

Published by The International Journal of Design in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 25, 2014 $US5.00

Sustainable consumption enables the development of eco-friendly production and consumption patterns. This alternative to traditional consumption has become a choice—even a lifestyle—for a rising number of people who question the ecological and ethical qualities of the consumer goods they buy. As the demand and supply of eco-friendly products grow, it is relevant to understand people’s expectations and perceptions of eco-friendly products in relation to their commitment to sustainable consumption. Twenty-seven participants responded to a multiple-choice questionnaire, evaluating their commitment to sustainable consumption. The level of commitment was ranked either as “low to medium” or “medium to strong.” Respondents were then invited to complete an individual semi-directed interview. Those initial findings show that the current eco-friendly products supply does not really meet the respective perceptions and expectations of the two profiles. In this regard, the present study identifies specific characteristics for each group in order to support the diversification of the green market.

Keywords: Sustainable Consumption, Eco-friendly Product, Green Market, Sustainable Design

The International Journal of Design in Society, Volume 7, Issue 4, August 2014, pp.13-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 283.945KB)).

Anne Marchand

Assistant Professor, École de Design Industriel, Faculté de l'Aménagement, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Anne Marchand is a product design professor at the Université de Montréal. She holds a PhD in environmental design from the University of Calgary (2008). Her research interests include issues related to sustainable consumption, alternative visual and material cultures, localization in the design and production of goods, and research-through-design as a valid scientific research method. She is also conducting action-research projects with First Nations communities in Quebec, Canada, to support cultural, economical and social empowerment through the creation of contemporary products.

Claudia Déméné

Ph.D Candidate, École de Design Industriel, Faculté de l'Aménagement, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Québec, Canada

Claudia Déméné is a Ph.D candidate in environmental design at the Université de Montréal (Canada). She holds a professional master’s degree in environmental management and sustainable development (2008) from Université de technologie de Troyes (France). Her main research areas include the product life cycle thinking (use phase), and the issue related to lifespan of consumer goods such as the electronic products. Her works focus on the different forms of obsolescence and the relationship between users and items. She also collaborates on research projects focusing on the consumer behaviour in relation to responsible consumption.

Mario Patenaude

Ph.D. Student, School of Industrial Design, Faculté de l'aménagement, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Mario Patenaude is a Ph.D. student in environmental design at the Université de Montréal (Canada). He holds an undergraduate degree in industrial design and a master's degree in environmental design from Université de Montréal. His ecodesign profile structure his main research area that is ecological construction. Specifically, he is interested in the use phase of residential space, both from the user’s point of view and the perspective of environmental impacts. He also collaborates on research projects focusing on ecological housing as well as on consumer behaviour in relation to responsible consumption.