Lowsumerism Fashion - A Case study on ASKET

Sara Thulesius

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis intends to study the phenomenon of lowsumerismm in the field of fashion. Lowsumerism is an approach sprung out of the slow fashion movement, as one of many emerging trends within sustainable business model development in the fashion industry. Lowsumerism is however empirically understudied, although most research discuss producing less and consuming less as a fundamental prerequisite to reduce the impact the fashion industry has on people and planet. This contradiction, along with the paradox lowsumerism invokes; promoting less consumption while operating a for profit business motivates the topic of this thesis. An analysis of the assumed paradoxical relationship of lowsumerism principles and business is achieved by a case study of a company with a business model based on lowsumerism principles. The company is seen as an industry disruptor and offers a permanent collection. The thesis additionally intends to study the potentials of replicability of such a business model, meaning prospects of incorporating lowsumerism principles to current conventional business models in fashion. This additional approach is motivated to address the overall issue related to how no sustainable business models have yet managed to replace the dominant fast fashion model. The contributions of this thesis are intended to build on existing literature about sustainable business model innovation in fashion. The thesis also aims at rendering practical recommendations for entrepreneurs and other actors in the fashion industry, and eventually to fill a knowledge gap concerning lowsumerism principles in fashion. The study is limited to focusing on empirical evidence based on one single case, ASKET and their business model. The data is obtained by semi-structured interviews, document analysis and observations in line with triangulation of data. The theoretical framework sets off in the business model literature’s logic of lowering the environmental impact according to sustainable business model innovation, yet combined with critical aspects of sustainable business models. The framework is used to analyze the empirical data in order to answer the research questions. The analysis reveals that lowsumerism and business does not necessarily entail a paradox. Lowsumerism principles can be incorporated and operated together with for-profit business, as long as the business model is built to not be confined to underlying fashion principles. Meanwhile, because the majority of all business models in the fashion industry to some extent adhere to fast fashion principles there are challenges related to incorporating lowsumerism principles to a current business model. The analysis implies challenges related to how most brands need to make fundamental changes to their business models to incorporate transparency and traceability, which are operations related to ASKET’s lowsumerism principles.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages107
SupervisorsTrine Pallesen