Conscious Consumption in Contemporary Society: A Case Study of the Danish Skin Care Brand SARDkopenhagen

Christine Ohm Cleaver & Clara Oxholm Simonsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The global contemporary society is highly characterised by a growing concern for and discussion about social and environmental issues related to consumerism. This includes a heightened awareness about and concern for the individual consumer’s personal health as well as how the climate is changing as a result of consumerism. Consequently, this creates an increasing consensus about how the individual consumer’s choices and behaviour both affect the consumer’s health and impact the state of the environment. As these social and environmental issues are highlighted by media, consumers become more well-informed and conscious about their impact on their own health and the environment. This consciousness is increasingly expressed through the individual consumer’s everyday purchase decisions. Due to the direct link between extensive social and environmental issues and the individual consumer’s purchase decisions, there is an increasing need for understanding how consumers in contemporary society relate themselves to these issues and consider them in their consumer practices. With an inductive and qualitative approach, we take point of departure in the innovative Danish skin care brand SARDkopenhagen, who offers natural and sustainable products to consumers. By investigating how SARDkopenhagen’s branding is perceived by its end consumers we seek to understand how the end consumers make sense of the branding of natural and sustainable products, and how this can contribute to an understanding of contemporary consumer trends related to conscious consumption. Based on the findings of this thesis, we conclude that an apparent media discourse and inherent social imperative are influencing the end consumers’ perceptions of how they should act as consumers in a contemporary society and consider social and environmental issues in relation to their individual consumption. We argue that this social imperative entails that consumers increasingly use natural and sustainable skin care brands as a way to engage in continuous consumption and identity creation, while expressing values that corresponds to the social imperative of acting more conscious.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages454