Framing sufficiency: Strategies of environmental non-governmental organisations towards reduced material consumption

Ola Persson, Mikael Klintman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The efficiency approach of moving towardssustainable consumption throughmainlytechnological solutions, which dominatesenvironmental policymaking, has overallfailed to reduce the adverse environmental impacts caused by unsustainable consumption patterns. Increasingly, it is recognized that efficiency needs to be coupled with sufficiency, which aims to reduce the absolute levels of consumption. While the public policy realm continues to be linked to the efficiency approach,environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) have an importantrole in promoting sufficiency-oriented lifestyles and culture. Through interviews, participant observations and a media review, campaign strategies that ENGOs have applied to promote sufficiency in material goods through less use, increased care and maintenance of products are analysed. This paper contributes with insights as to how sufficiencyactivitiescan attracta broader target group,but also the various challenges and contradictionsresulting from this process. To explain these challenges and contradictions, the paper creates a conceptual distinction between market and non-marketbased sufficiency activities.The distinction elucidateshow ENGOs are promoting activities ranging from those that can be applied within the current market arrangements,to those elevatingsocial relations and non-commercial values beyond market-exchange,in ordertogain cultural resonance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-533
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
Issue number2
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology

Free keywords

  • Sufficiency
  • Consumption
  • sustainability assessment
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Civil society organizations


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