Consumer Policy Recommendations

Kristian S. Nielsen, Wencke Gwozdz

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch


Consumers have a critical role in the necessary sustainable transition of the clothing industry: They decide what clothes to acquire, where to acquire it, how to use it, and how to discard it. Although concerns for environmental impacts induced by clothing production and consumption
are becoming increasingly important for consumers, such concerns still only influence consumer choices to a limited extent—warranting new far-reaching initiatives.
In this report, we make policy recommendations showcasing how policy-makers can support consumers in acquiring, utilizing, and discarding clothing in more environmentally friendly ways. To illustrate the wealth of policy instruments available to address the clothing industry´s environmental challenges, we begin by describing four categories of policy instruments: regulatory, economic, information-based, and behavioral. Examples key instruments are presented within each instrument category. As each lifecycle phase of acquisition, use and maintenance, and discarding poses a unique set of environmental challenges, and how consumers interact with clothing during each phase varies considerably, we identify five key consumer challenges. The five consumer challenges are: promoting environmentally friendly clothing products, supporting consumers´ use of alternative business models, prolonging use, optimizing use-phase handling of clothes, increasing recycling rates, and supporting consumer well-being. For each consumer challenge, we offer recommendations for appropriate policy instruments to address the challenge. Ideally, policymakers should undertake measures to address all five challenges, as addressing one challenge cannot sufficiently remedy the environmental problems induced by the clothing industry.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationStockholm
PublisherMistra Future Fashion
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9789189049475
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesMistra Future Fashion Report

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